The Evergreen Park and Recreation District has selected a California company with offices in Denver to produce a market analysis and feasibility study for a combination community/arts center, at a cost of $36,120.
Economic and Planning Systems Inc. of Denver was chosen from seven candidates that submitted bids for the job of identifying the costs associated with the construction and operation of the proposed center in Buchanan Park.
“We narrowed it to the top three and interviewed them,” said John Skeel, park district executive director. “One reason EPS came out on top was that it had no connection with anybody on the boards. … Whatever the results, we didn’t want anybody to think it was a foregone conclusion. Everybody agreed they were neutral.”
EPS was the economic consultant for RTD on the development of Denver’s Union Station as a transit, office, retail and residential center.
Others that submitted proposals were Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative, Barker, Rinker and Seacat Architecture, Economics Research Associates, Andrews and Anderson Architects, Webb Management and Studio DH.
The selection committee included Steve Sumner, executive director of the Center for the Arts Evergreen, Skeel, and two staff members of each group.
The park district is contributing $25,000, and the Center for the Arts Evergreen has pledged $12,500 to pay for the study, which is seen as the first step in realizing the master plan envisioned for the 67-acre property at the intersection of Highway 65 and Evergreen Parkway.
The job includes determining all costs associated with construction, operation and maintenance of the following:
• Community center/arts building (20,000 to 30,000 square feet; community center 12,000 to 18,000 square feet)
• Environmental education area (3,000 to 5,000 square feet)
• Theater, black-box or multi-use classroom (12,000 to 18,000 square feet)
None of these buildings is included in the current budget. The park district board has indicated that any major new building project would require going back to the public for a bond campaign, and no such effort is in the works.
Some residents who live in the vicinity of Buchanan Park have criticized the building plan as too elaborate and an unnecessary expense. The park district board in February agreed to go forward with funding a feasibility study as a preliminary step.
In its proposed work plan, Economic and Planning Systems says it will not only assess the costs but will offer a forecast of the potential market analysis for the proposed facilities. It will identify the type of user groups and the annual number of events by type and size range.
In addition, the consultant will contact and interview primary community, recreation and arts groups expected to be the future users of the proposed community/arts center. It will also compile an inventory of existing facilities and identify other future users.
Economic and Planning Systems is a land economics consulting firm that specializes in real estate development market analysis, public/private partnerships and financing government services and public facilities. Founded in 1983, EPS has offices in Berkeley and Sacramento, Calif., and Denver.
Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or firstname.lastname@example.org