A couple years ago, the City purchased the property at the Southeast corner of Edgewood Road and Route 1 with Program Open Space funds from the State, with the purpose of making the lot into a park.
This property has long been challenged and has faced significant turnover of both owners and renters, and has not found a purchaser for redevelopment as commercial property or anything else. As a result, the Council decided, based on input from the community, that it would be best to turn it into a park. The City formed a committee of residents to provide input on the property, and also held a contest with students from the U-MD Landscape Architecture school to put together some ideas for the project.
At long last, the City has put out a Request for Proposals to hire a designer to engage in a complete design of the park with input from the U-MD proposals and the resident committee. The designer will work with a Local Project Design Committee made up of residents, adjoining property owners, State Highway Administration representatives and City staff, to work with the consultant on the design.
The City has a budget of approximately $380,000 for the project, including funds from Program Open Space, Community Legacy grant funds, city reserve funds and a developer contribution from the Greenbelt Station project. The City received 10 bids, but many of the bids did not demonstrate the cross-disciplinary expertise to handle the complexities of the project, including expertise on topographical design, electrical engineering, and stormwater management.
The staff recommends working with Floura Teeter/WBCM, a joint venture designer and landscape architect. This was the most expensive bid submitted at $95,815 (compared to about $52,000 for the cheapest), but, in staff’s opinion, the proposal best demonstrated an understanding of the design challenges through the companies’ work in other projects and references through other projects. They’ve worked with the University of Maryland on some projects (including its new synthetic turf field and the Worcester Hall Green Space at Lot D) and received excellent reviews.
Staff does have reservations about the high cost and Floura Teeter has said they would review the cost proposal to see if they can cut costs. Still, this designer seems to have substantial experience in the type of environmental features that have been proposed for the Gateway Park.
Please let me know what you think about this project.