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Request for Proposals and Qualifications to Build, Finance, and Operate Geist Waterfront Park
A. Statement of Intent. The City of Fishers, Hamilton County, Indiana, an Indiana
municipality duly organized pursuant to the laws of the State of Indiana (“City”), issues this
Request for Proposal and Qualifications (“RFPQ”) to prospective entities interested in
submitting a proposal and statement of qualifications (“Offerors”) to develop, design, build,
operate and finance a portion of the City’s Geist Waterfront Park (“Geist Park”), all pursuant to a
public-private agreement between the City and the winning Offeror (“Developer”) in accordance
with Ind. Code §5-23 et seq. (the “Act”).
B. Beach Project Overview. In 2018, the City acquired property at Geist Reservior
(“Geist”) commonly referred to as 10959 Olio Road, Fishers, Indiana, identified by property
identification nos. 13-15-01-00-00-012.000; 13-15-01-00-00-012.001; and 13-15-01-00-00-
012.002 and depicted on Exhibit A (the “Project Site”). The Project Site is approximately 49.26
acres in size, is adjacent to Geist Reservoir and is in a natural, unimproved state. The City acquired
the Project Site to develop a unique, one-of-a-kind recreational amenity that includes a beach;
walking and hiking trails; boardwalk; kayak launching area; shelters and picnic areas; bike trails;
and playground equipment, among other features.
In 2019, the City retained Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf and A&F Engineering
(“Browning Day/A&F”) to begin designing Geist Park. The City has generally approved the
concept plan for the park attached as Exhibit B (the “Concept Plan”). As depicted in the Concept
Plan, the City anticipates three (3) development phases, with the first phase beginning in 2020.
The City now desires to retain the services of a general contractor who can develop, design,
build, operate and finance the development and construction of the beach area together with as
many additional elements of Phase 1 of the Concept Plan, as further specified in Final Concept +
Phase 1 Program attached hereto as Exhibit C (the “Phase 1 Plan”), as possible on a budget that
may not exceed a total of Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand and no/100 Dollars
($15,500,000.00) (the “Maximum Project Budget”).
The City understands that all of the Phase 1 Plan probably cannot be completed
within the Maximum Project Budget. Accordingly, the Developer shall be responsible for
working with the City and Browning Day/A&F to prioritize those elements of the Phase 1
Plan that can be completed within the Maximum Project Budget (the elements of the Phase
1 Plan that can be completed within the Maximum Project Budget, the “Beach Project”).
The general contractor will work with Browning Day/A&F to create final architectural design
plans and drawings (the “Final Documents and Drawings”) and will be responsible for developing,
constructing, financing and operating the improvements included in the Final Documents and
C. The City and Geist. Over the past thirty (30) years, the City has experienced
tremendous growth, from a population of eight thousand (8,000) in 1980 to a population of more
than ninety thousand (90,000) in 2020. As the City has grown, it has focused on economic
development that enables the City to maintain low, stable tax rates and on delivering exceptional
As more people have moved to and are working in Fishers, the City has creatively and
efficiently managed its green spaces and park facilities to serve a growing population. Residents
now have access to twenty-four (24) park properties totaling more than five hundred ninety (590)
acres, one hundred thirty-one (131) miles of nature and multi-use trails, sixty-one (61) sports fields
and two (2) splash pads. As the City adds recreational amenities, its residents enjoy them. For
example, since its construction more than one hundred eighty thousand (180,000) people visited
the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater for concerts and events.
In 2018, the City committed to opening one of its most distinct assets, Geist Reservoir, to
the public. Historically, use of most of Geist and the surrounding areas was reserved to adjacent
property owners and boat owners who paid to launch into Geist. Over time, phosphorus deposits,
algae growth and exceptional boat traffic led to great public debate concerning conservancy of
Geist. Now, the City plans to develop Geist Park, a park that conserves nature, opens Geist to the
public and provides Fishers’ citizens a world-class recreational green space.
D. Goals and Objectives of the Beach Project. The City desires to design and
develop Geist Park in a way that makes it available to and enjoyable for all Fishers residents--a
place where beachgoers can relax in the sun, children can enjoy state-of-the-art recreational
structures and nature enthusiasts can hike, kayak and ride bikes. The preferred amenities will
help mitigate environmental issues and help conserve Geist Reservoir for generations to come.
The City now seeks private involvement to develop and construct the Beach Project,
because (1) the City lacks expertise in executing, streamlining, and overseeing development like
the Beach Project; (2) private sector expertise in the design, development, and construction of the
Beach Project will allow the Beach Project to be completed quicker and more efficiently; (3)
private sector expertise will help shift risk away from the City and allow subcontractors to be
directly accountable to the Developer; (4) private sector expertise should prevent unknown costs
from being added to the Beach Project; and (5) the City desires an aggressive delivery of the
Beach Project, which is more likely achieved by the private sector.
This procurement process encourages Offerors to offer innovative and creative plans to
complete the Beach Project. Through this public-private partnership, the City seeks (1) budget
certainty and the opportunity to shift financial risk away from the City; (2) innovative design that
builds upon the Concept Plan and prioritizes portions of the Phase I Plan that can be achieved
within the Maximum Project Budget amount; (3) innovative approaches to financing that provide
the City with opportunities to fund the Beach Project while limiting the impact on the City’s annual
budget or departmental cash flow; and (4) an expedient design and construction timeline that
provides the City with construction and operational savings.
3/5/2020 12:00 AM
3/27/2020 10:00 AM
Geist Waterfront Park RFPQ
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