The proposals have been submitted. Now it’s time to choose a plan.
During their meeting Tuesday afternoon, Goshen Redevelopment Commission members accepted proposals from a total of four firms interested in overseeing the creation of a new Downtown River District Revitalization Plan for the city.
According to Becky Hutsell, redevelopment project manager for the city, the area being targeted for the plan encompasses approximately four city blocks and includes the area west of Third Street, north of Lincoln Avenue, south of Pike Street and east of the river.
Hutsell noted that there are three vacant lots located within the target area that she feels are primed for redevelopment, one of which includes the former Elkhart County jail property.
In addition to the former jail site, there is also an area of vacant land located on West Lincoln Avenue, near the river, as well as the site of a former dry-cleaner located west of Pleasant Avenue and Pike Street, Hutsell explained.
Commission members approved the request for proposals during their July 14 meeting, with the idea being to eventually hire someone to help give the city an overall vision for the four-block area’s future development by helping to identify catalytic projects, explore what the city’s market can support, etc.
Submitting proposals for the plan Tuesday were: ms consultants, inc. of Indianapolis; Jones Petrie Rafinski (JPR) of Elkhart; The Lakota Group of Chicago; and Abonmarche Consultants of Goshen.
According to Mark Brinson, community development director for the city, the next step in the process will involve a review of the four plans over the next month, with a contract recommendation expected at the commission’s Sept. 8 meeting.
“So, what we’d like to do is, we’ll have several staff members involved in the review process,” Brinson said of the process. “And we’d also like to have, as we have in the past, a couple volunteers from the commission who would like to read the proposals, and then participate in a meeting to make a decision on who we would like to interview, and then also be a part of those interviews. We would then bring a recommendation back to the commission at our meeting next month.”
Commission members Vince Turner and Andrea Johnson ultimately volunteered to participate in the review process.
Originally posted: The Goshen Times