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Beyer Blinder Belle selected for WTC planning study

An urban design team led by New York firm Beyer Blinder Belle was selected today by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide what the Port Authority describes as “consulting services to the two agencies as they conduct an integrated urban design and transportation planning study for the World Trade Center site, adjacent areas and related transportation.”

Fifteen teams had submitted proposals for the job. The fifteen teams were narrowed to six, led by New York firms Beyer Blinder Belle, Davis Brody Bond, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, Fox & Fowle, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

The urban design team will be working in concert with Alexander Garvin, the LMDC vice president for planning, design, and development, to develop the plan. Beyer Blinder Belle, in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, will be assisted by 11 sub-consultants with the following specialties:

Landscape Planning and Design: Olin Partnership
Economics and Programming: Urbanomics (WBE)
Civil and Subsurface Geotechnical: Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
Security Planning: PACO Group Inc. (MBE)
Bus Transit Planning: Abrams-Cherwony & Associates
Traffic Forecasting: Philip Habib & Associates (WBE)
Traffic Database: SIMCO Engineering, P.C. (MBE)
Sustainable Design: Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineering: Ysrael A. Seinuk, P.C. (MBE)
Cost Estimating: VJ Associates (MBE)
3-D Computer Database: The Environmental Simulation Center, Ltd.

Funded by the Port Authority at approximately $3 million, the urban planning study will require three phases completed by year-end. According to the Port Authority, “Phase I, to be completed in July, will analyze proposed transportation improvement projects and develop up to six concepts for land-use options at the World Trade Center site and adjacent areas.

“Phase II will further develop and define these options based on the public input received, and narrow the options to three by September. Phase III will result in a preferred land-use and transportation plan by December. That plan would then become the basis of a process leading to a framework for site development and transportation.”

“Separately, LMDC is developing a process, with the consultation of the LMDC Family Advisory Council, for developing concepts for an appropriate memorial. That process will be in place in July.”

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "Today’s selection is one more sign that all the participants in this process are working together smoothly. The ability to reconcile the numerous interests at stake, and move ahead with a project of this complexity, shows the enormous resources our region can bring to bear. We will continue to work together as a city and a society to create an appropriate memorial to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, and to rebuild Lower Manhattan.”

LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "Today's announcement represents another important step toward revitalizing Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site. We were extremely pleased by the quality of the responses to the RFP. Based upon a fair, open and competitive process, the selected consultant emerged as the most qualified candidate to carry out this important study. The consultant will help the Port Authority and LMDC plan the redevelopment of the overall site and consider the complex transportation and urban planning issues that will have to be addressed in order to revitalize Lower Manhattan."

As set forth in the RFP, the criteria for selection of the winning proposal included:

the quality and depth of the experience and qualifications of the staff, including sub-consultants
the extent and quality of experience of the consultant
scoping and staffing – appropriateness of staff time dedicated to each task, including the amount of time to be spent by principals in performance of the required services and the demonstrated ability of the consultant to complete the services in accordance with the project schedule
appropriateness and responsiveness of the consultant’s proposed technical approach to the performance of services
the cost of the consultant's services.

John E. Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA