Can you provide more details on how the proposals will be scored?

The evaluation criteria are outlined starting on page 20 of the RFP. The only fixed formula point allocation is that for purchase price. The highest responsive bidder will receive 50 points, with all remaining responsive bidders receiving a pro rata share of the 50 available points based on a comparison of their price to the highest price. For all other categories, the maximum point values available are listed in the RFP. Each category contains a non-exhaustive list of criteria the scoring committee will consider when awarding a point value. In total, there are 375 points available.

Specific to DBE – what is the role of CBDP (Community Business Development Partners) versus Milwaukee County Economic Development and how will DBE goals be scored?

The Milwaukee County Economic Development Director will establish a committee to evaluate all proposals. The scoring committee will look closely at proposers’ past experiences implementing, reporting and achieving DBE goals, as well as their willingness and experience in exceeding DBE or similar goals. The CBDP does not play a role in scoring. CBDP’s role is that of monitoring and assisting with DBE compliance.

Will an appraisal of the property be available to the public?

The appraisal (see specific Block 1, 2, 4 or 7 tabs on the right side of the page) for each block has been posted on the website.

How will you score project plans that include multiple parcels, specifically with the small lot on Parcel 12B?

If a submittal includes a larger development on Adjacent Sites, the scoring for the Projected Tax Base category and the Projected Jobs Created category shall be based on the entire development, not just the development on Parcel 12B.  Adjacent Sites includes any land that is either immediately contiguous to a Park East parcel, or separated only by a municipal street. Adjacent Sites do not include scattered site developments that are not contiguous. The Community Benefits, as defined by the sample Development Agreement will only apply to structures built on Park East parcels. If the structure to be built on a Park East parcel is not a separate structure, Community Benefits will apply to a percentage of the larger development based on the following ratio: (building square footage on Park East parcel)/(building square footage of total development).

Is there any information available regarding the location of any buried footings and piers from the former freeway?

A map showing approximate footing and pier locations for the Park East blocks on the west side of the Milwaukee River can be seen by following the link. Footings and piers were only removed  from the 4th and 6th street right of ways.

What is the price?

The County considers a parcel’s appraised value to be its fair market value; however, the Park East Redevelopment Compact (PERC) mandates: “Milwaukee County should not just sell the land for the highest price offered, but rather should seek development proposals which will provide the greatest future benefit in jobs, tax based and image for the community, as well as, a fair price.” (CB Resolution 04-492) Thus, the review panel will entertain all proposals submitted, so long as they are reasonable in light of the above directive.

What sort of commission is available to brokers?

A broker who registers with the County by submitting the Broker Registration Form as an attachment to the RFP response will have the opportunity to receive a $50,000 per acre commission, prorated on a hundredth of an acre basis. Receipt of the brokerage fee will not only be contingent upon the existence of the registration letter, but also the broker being licensed in the State of Wisconsin, the broker not being a principal of its client or any entity having an ownership interest in its client and the land sale closing within 24 months of a signed Option to Purchase. This commission will be available to pre-registered broker regardless of purchase price.

What is the approval process?

There are two distinct phases to the approval process.  The first phase of the approval process is the review phase. RFP responses can be submitted at any time, but will only be reviewed once per month. The review panel will consist of county, city and local economic development professionals who score responses based on the criteria set forth in the RFP. If the panel decides it would like more information, interviews with the appropriate proposers will be requested. Should the panel recommend a proposal (or multiple proposals), the second phase will begin.

This second phase is the legislative approval phase. The recommendation of the review committee will be presented to the County’s Economic and Community Development Committee for approval before being sent to the full board. In the event City financing is included or the proposal contains city-owned land, the legislative approval process will simultaneously require approval from the City’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee and the full Common Council.

Once the appropriate approval(s) are received, the successful proposer(s) will begin negotiating an option to purchase. Click Here for a more detailed description of the approval process.

Are there environmental issues with the property, and how are these to be addressed?

The environmental issues in the area, although present, have not been a barrier to the construction of hundreds of millions of dollars in development in the last decade.  Like most downtown properties, the Park East parcels were built up using fill material between 5 and 22 feet in depth. The fill material contains varying levels of contaminants, including lead and other RCRA metals, VOCs and DRO/PAHs.

Moreover, past uses for the area include commercial and industrial facilities, including junkyards, truck terminals, print shops, foundries and gas stations.  Milwaukee County had Phase I and Phase II environmental investigations done for each parcel at the time of freeway removal. A summary of the environmental investigations for each block is available to potential purchasers. Nonetheless, the County makes no warranties as to soil, subsoil and environmental conditions. The property is being sold “as is” with any and all remediation costs will be the responsibility of the purchaser.

What sort of uses will be considered for the property?

All of the Park East parcels are part of a Redevelopment Zoning District (RED zoning). RED classification means both the use and design standards are not found in the city’s zoning code, but are set forth in that district’s redevelopment plan. The Park East Redevelopment Plan governs here and permits a variety of uses, including residential, office, retail/service, entertainment/accommodations and industrial. Though the permitted uses can be found within the text of the plan, there are also separate use tables found in Amendments 3 and 4 to the plan. The design standards are found in the development code.

Note: the RED designation was not in existence until 2005. Thus, the redevelopment plan document may on occasion refer to C9B zoning. Proposers must ensure they are utilizing the proper use tables: those in Amendments 3 and 4 rather than the one contained in Appendix A.

What Tax Incremental District (TID) financing opportunities will the City consider?

The City considers TID requests on a case-by-case basis.  The Park East is covered by TID #48.  The primary use of funds from TID #48 were for infrastructure improvements to the site, including utility connections and the construction of McKinley Blvd; all of which have made the Park East redevelopment ready.  For a complete list of TID #48 expenditures, including expenditures related to individual developments, please see the TID Summary.

For a summary of all Milwaukee TID Expenditures please see here. Past TID expenditures, however, are not a direct indication of future TID decisions.

Projects with significant job creation and retention are highly encouraged.  Please be aware that Financial Feasibility is a significant scoring category in the land sales RFP.  Therefore responses that rely on financing sources that have a higher likelihood of materializing will score better than financing sources that are unlikely. If a proposal is contingent upon TID assistance it should be noted in the RFP response.

What is the PERC and how do I comply?

The Park East Redevelopment Compact (PERC) is a Milwaukee County resolution that requires the payment of prevailing wage, Disadvantage Business Enterprise participation and goals for resident and workforce training hiring during project construction.  All of the PERC requirements have been incorporated into the RFP requests and scoring criteria.  A copy of the PERC can be found here PERC Park East Redevelopment Compact.  Note that the PERC includes other mandates for the County, not requirements of the Developer, such as the use of land sales proceeds for workforce development and land sales.

Whom do I contact if I have a question?

We are here to help!

For questions about the opportunity, contact:
Tracy Johnson, Commercial Association of REALTORS® Wisconsin

For questions about the RFP process, contact:
Sherri Jordan, Milwaukee County Economic Development

For questions about the City-owned parcel on Block 7, contact:
Lori Lutzka, Department of City Development

What are my responsibilities, as a developer, under the Park East Redevelopment Compact (PERC)?

The PERC sets forth required actions for both the County and potential developers. The County is required to sell the land using an RFP process, establish a community and economic development fund, hire an economic development agency to assist in coordinating job training, sponsor the construction of new affordable housing and set up a community advisory board. The County has done all of these things. The developer only needs to focus on the following requirements, all which relate directly to its project rather than the County’s economic development strategies in general:

  • Utilize disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) during construction of the project in accordance with the County’s current DBE policies
  • Include enhanced apprenticeship and job training opportunities during project construction
  • Include a goal for residential participation during project construction
  • Pay prevailing wages to all construction employees

Does every project on the Park East have to include affordable housing?

No. The PERC requires that Milwaukee County sponsor the construction of new affordable housing of no less than 20% of the total housing units built on the Park East lands. The County has already exceeded the percentage required. While residential uses are permitted on the Park East, there is no mandate that they be included in any proposal, or that those included be affordable or lower income units.

What are the County’s current DBE policies?

Currently, the County’s DBE goals are 25% for construction costs (including architecture and engineering) and 17% for professional services costs. More information on vendors and contract compliance forms can be found at the County’s Community Business Development Partners (CBDP) website here.

Are there specific requirements in place for residential hiring and apprenticeship/job training?

The County has no set goals for residential hiring and apprenticeship/job training. It is up to developers to submit goals and plans to achieve those goals to the County. Goals should be expressed in terms of projects hours rather than a percentage of employees. The submitted goals and plans to achieve those goals will be evaluated in light of the goals of other proposers, the proposer’s experience meeting such goals in the past and its willingness to do so. The County may also consider the realized percentages on other similar projects as a comparator.

How will Milwaukee County’s new minimum wage ordinance affect Park East land sales?

As enacted, the new minimum wage ordinance (Chapter 111) will not apply to Park East land sales.  The ordinance specifies that projects receiving economic development financial assistance from the County in excess of $1 million will have to pay employees doing work on the premises the minimum wage for a period of time equal to one year per $100,000 of assistance.  However, MCGO 111.02(d)(d) expressly exempts the sale of land or real property assets from the definition of economic development financial assistance.  Nevertheless, the actual construction of Park East developments does require payment of the prevailing wage, as set by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Can New Market Tax Credit be used for Park East development?

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) can be deployed in much of the Park East. The NMTC program offers flexible financing options, such as below-market interest rates; longer-than-standard, interest-only periods; higher-than-standard loan-to-value ratio; or gap financing. For more information on the NMTC program, visit the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund or call the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation at 414-286-5840 and ask for David Latona or Tracy Luber.