Midtown Monday April 27th


This is your weekly update on the predevelopment phase of the Midtown site.

Next week, Monday, May 4 at 5 p.m., the Santa Fe Governing Body will host a Special Meeting to vote whether to enter into an agreement with the proposed development team to begin the process of working with the City and constituent groups to understand the vision, aspirations, and grounded objectives for the redevelopment of the Midtown Site.

The meeting will be hosted on the City’s YouTube channel at which City Council hearings are held: www.youtube.com/user/cityofsantafe.

The public is invited to submit questions through Monday, May 4 at 1 p.m. to the development team at following email address:


Building great places in cities involves the participation of many groups.  Generally, three core entities are engaged in large-scale development like the Midtown District for the to be a success: 1) the Public, 2) Developers, and 3) Government (staff and elected officials).  The entities of this three-legged stool start their work together by creating shared principles, goals, and aspirations that will guide their decisions in the planning and development process.  May 4 launches the process for bringing those three entities together with the introduction of the developer.


An 11-member Midtown Evaluation Committee, comprised of staff from various City departments with a range of professional skills and backgrounds, arrived at a unanimous decision to recommend a qualified development team based on three competitive criteria – approach, experience, and capacity.

  1. The experience and approach criteria considered whether the development team had an understanding of Santa Fe – its history, culture, and community dynamics.
  2. The approach criterion considered the development team’s understanding of the types of development and principles that Santa Fe desired and whether the development team has a commitment to triple-bottom line sustainable development – equity, environment, economy.
  3. The capacity criterion considered whether the development team could manage and implement a large-scale project in Santa Fe.

While the criteria seemed like a tall order to fill, the richness of Santa Fe attracted high quality competitive responses that included development teams with strong ties to Santa Fe.

After the vote on May 4, the City and the development team will kick-off the first in a series of sessions to Meet the Developer and learn more about their initial ideas, and for them to get a better understanding of your goals and aspirations. The series will be topic oriented and the public will be able to submit questions in advance and live on the City’s YouTube channel where public meetings can be accessed.


Q:   What is an RFEI vs an RFP, and how does it relate to the evaluation and selection of the development team?

A standard RFP, or Request for Proposals, is a solicitation for formal proposals from respondents. They are often detailed with a request for the scope of work, proposed fee or price, and the criteria for evaluating the viability of the respondent and their proposal to meet objectives.  Government-issued RFP processes are typically regulated by federal, state, or local procurement codes.  In the City of Santa Fe, the process is regulated by State procurement codes.

The RFP process is often used for the sale or lease of publically owned property to create a competition so that the government entity can gather and evaluate the proposals to determine if they achieve their stated objectives.

In these processes, the standard practice is that the city department that issued the RFP negotiates with the respondent.  Once negotiations are finalized, the proposal is put into a contract for the Governing Body’s review and approval.

An RFEI, or Request for Expressions of Interest, is similar to an RFP.  However, the City established a creative process that provided for a period of negotiation and engagement in which the “proposal,” in the case of the Midtown Site, would occur in a more collaborative way with the public, and City (department staff and elected officials).

The RFEI opened the door for a variety of interested respondents to submit their ideas and possibilities – their approach, rather than a formal proposal submitted in an RFP.  It was designed to ensure that good ideas were backed by experience on similar projects, included an understanding of Santa Fe, and had the capacity to implement those ideas.  The RFEI allows for a more interactive process to develop the final plan or proposal for the Midtown Site with a qualified development team. The final plan or proposal may take many months to complete.  The RFEI also provides the opportunity for the City to contract with the developer, based on a completed development plan, through a final sale or lease agreement for the Governing Body’s review and approval.