UPDATED: FEBRUARY 27, 2017 1:13 PM — The City of Ocoee is seeking an architectural design firm to create the design criteria that will be used to build a new City Hall, according to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) published on Monday.
The project will be funded by bond proceeds and other revenue appropriated by the City Commission, and will only be awarded upon the securing of those bonds.
The city commission approved $43 million in new infrastructure investments for Downtown Ocoee in late 2016 to promote urban redevelopment. City staff plan to make presentations to bond rating agencies in March for the downtown projects.
The design criteria package will be used later to procure a design-build company to construct the new City Hall, on a public site on the northeast corner of Bluford Avenue and McKey Street in Downtown Ocoee.
"The new City Hall will become the catalyst of the redevelopment of Downtown Ocoee," said Angel de la Portilla, head of local government consulting firm Central Florida Strategies, Inc., which manages economic development efforts for Ocoee.
"While the city is investing in a brand new facility, the lakefront property where City Hall is current located could become available for a private development opportunity."
The design criteria must include conceptual floor plans, exterior and interior elevations, and design details to fully convey the city's requirements for the building.
The working project budget of $9 million, including design, anticipates the new City Hall will have up to 40,000 square feet of conditioned area, which would accommodate city staff, local state representatives and possible commercial space.
A key point early in the design process will be a space analysis to determine if the existing City Employee Clinic, now housed in a building adjacent to the future City Hall site, should be moved into the new City Hall or kept separate.
This past fall, Ocoee decided to bond out $25 million for infrastructure projects that are expected to revitalize its downtown, along with a relocation of City Hall that would free up valuable land for new development.
The new City Hall is part of a larger public space improvement project that fits within a $45 million public infrastructure investment by the city as a way to stimulate redevelopment of its downtown.
Responding architecture firms must be experienced in providing design criteria services for projects of a similar scope as the planned city hall building.