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The Town of Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission (RDC) received several submissions from firms interested in facilitating development of the town beginning next year.
RDC Secretary Jeff Freeze and Economic Development Coordinator Joe Rurode opened 11 responses to its request for qualifications this past Friday, Oct. 31, at the Burns Harbor Town Hall.
The request for qualifications began July 30, officially opening the submission process for qualified firms interested in providing assessment and strategic guidance for the development of land and programs within the town. Specifically, the RDC seeks a master developer/revitalization advisor to work towards strengthening existing businesses, furthering community development to potentially expand local employment and improve quality of life for residents and visitors.
RDC President Greg Miller said, “The RDC believes Burns Harbor is in a unique position as one of the few underdeveloped areas in Northwest Indiana. Burns Harbor has a unique opportunity to build this quickly growing town differently to benefit not only local residents but the regional community as a whole.”
Firms that responded include:• The Arsh Group, Inc. with Real Estate Planning Group, Robinson Engineering, Inc. and Arts by Design• Camiros, LTD. with Jon DeVries, CRE, AICP and Valerie S. Kretchmer & Associates• Crowe Horwath LLP with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) and Global Land Surveying• GAI Consultants, Inc. with Toole Design Group• Gateway Planning with The Velocity Group, Market & Feasibility Advisors LLC (MFA) and Kimley-Horn and Associates (KHA)• Houseal Lavigne Associates, LLC• LiveWorkLearnPlayInc. (LWLP)• RATIO Architects, Inc. with DLZ Corporation• SB Friedman Development Advisors (SB Friedman) with Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) and URS Corporation (URS)• Urbuu, LLC• Weaver Boos Consultants with Farr and Associates, HR&A Advisors, Inc, Muse Community + Design as well as Strategic Development Partners
Follow-up interviews for firms will be scheduled in December. Finalization of contract and formal adoption of a town master developer/revitalization advisor is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 9, 2015.
Initial reaction to the qualification packages received has been positive. “The RDC received responses from a number of prestigious firms who are all incredibly experienced and highly qualified,” Rurode said. “This response suggests there’s definitely a local but also national interest in Burns Harbor.”
The project is one of the first of many RDC initiatives to establish a long-term plan and action items for a sustainable economic environment and town identity for Burns Harbor.
Previously, the RDC named four local staff members to assist during the interim process as well as formalized its mission this fall. In addition, adopted earlier last month, the RDC led a joint-effort to establish an innovative agreement between the Town of Burns Harbor and Duneland School Corporation to share a portion of annual TIF revenue to enhance economic prosperity of the community through quality educational opportunities.