Monday, March 30, 2015

City Seeks Bids for Mary Lee Park Development

The City's Purchasing Department issued a Request for Proposals for Lake Nasworthy development.  The site is Mary E. Lee Park:

The City of San Angelo, Texas invites all qualified individuals, firms or joint venture entities to submit qualifications to ground lease and repurpose a portion of Mary E. Lee Park, approximately 19.547 acres, located at 7409 Knickerbocker Road, San Angelo, Texas 76904 into a vibrant resort and entertainment destination on Lake Nasworthy.
The term of the lease is 60 years.  Deeper into the RFP one finds:

In this assortment of small branded mid-market hotels that arrays like common candy bars, a lakefront branded suite hotel property at May Lee Park represents an opportunity to establish a new, better, top of the market property in a regional center community without one. It singularly can offer premium lake and marina views where all of the other properties offer roadside west Texas views.

It can offer recreational activities for weekend getaways in a region where few hotels can genuinely offer that opportunity. All existing and under-construction properties are limited service or select service properties. Even with the new crop of properties, there is no full-service property in the city and there is no other hotel site on a lake in the region.

Our recommendation for the site would be a full service property, in part because an attractive lakeside site with great views, backed by a hotel full of guests, can support a full-service “event” destination restaurant for area residents as well as a casual dining facility. Great onsite restaurants and bars are the missing link separating full and limited service hotels today. Similarly such a site could have attractive meeting and event spaces with balconies, decks and views of a marina – unlike any property in town.

As Lake Nasworthy has grown in the number of boat races and other events in recent years and can be expected to in the future, we see this property as the host hotel for all of these events, i.e., the property with the press rooms, where competitors and sponsors stay.

Since the upscale full-service positioning in the market is unoccupied at this time (none of the four properties listed as Upscale are full-service), we recommend an initial build of an upscale full-service property of at least 200 rooms with a possible expansion. The expansion would be triggered in part by what we expect will be a successful meetings business.
A 200 room hotel needs ample parking:

Suburban hotel, 1.2 to 1.4 parking spaces per guest room
Conference center hotel, 1.0 to 1.3 parking spaces per guest room

That's 200 to 280 parking spaces, which may not leave much room for the public to access the beach area.

The RFP has sections for:

1.  Business Plan and Development Program
2.  Preliminary Lease Terms
3.  Conceptual Site Plan and Operations
4.  Proposed Incentives
5.  Experience/Qualifications
6.  Project Timing
As for lease terms the RFP states:

The property will be conveyed by lease of not less than 60 years, subject to any easements, reservations, conditions for termination, covenants and restrictive covenants affecting the property.

The City will retain subsurface mineral rights to the property, but will waive the surface rights in order to not interfere with its use.
Under incentives the language reads:

Description of the type and magnitude of any incentives required to achieve the proposed venture. If public infrastructure is required to be installed by the city, cost and description is required. Describe why the incentives are necessary. The pro forma of the venture shall indicate the role of the incentives.
I highlighted but a few interesting aspects of the bid document.  I encourage others to peruse it, especially citizens concerned about development pushing out local users of the lake.  There's much to learn about the city's intent.  Actual bids will reveal the developer's desires.

It's a West Texas showdown on Lake Nasworthy.  Who will win?.  

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