At Monday’s city council meeting, the city awarded a request for proposal for the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP) to O2 Planning + Design Inc.
In September of 2015, the city began the process of hiring a consultant to create a statutory document that would be used in the revitalization of the downtown area. In 2016 this same company was the successful proponent, however the city did not move ahead with awarding the RFP.
“Our council felt we didn’t have enough information, so it was defeated at that time and waited for one more budget year,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
The Calgary-based company was awarded the project for $149,955.75, plus GST, which is just under the budgeted amount of $150,000.
“I think we have a package together that we are very satisfied with. I know council and myself are very excited, as well as community members downtown that will have input to the consultant, and look forward to the report that comes forward,” explained Aalbers.
Being able to get the ball rolling was nice Aalbers noted.
“It’s very exciting to see it. We have a lot of opportunity downtown and being able to provide people with some answers, be it, developers, be it property owners, be it business owners that don’t own property. They are looking for some direction and we want to be able to give them some direction,” he said.
Projects that O2 Planning + Design has worked on including the High River Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan and the Bow to Bluff Urban Design Framework.
There are five phases laid out by the company in the RFP, which includes start-up, visioning, development, refinement, and delivery.
The RFP also noted the project close-out would be Feb. 10, 2019.
“That’s why we wanted to get this contract awarded,” Aalbers said of the timeline.
“Based on certain things February, early 2019 is the better description of it. Hopefully, they can make it deliverable for February.”