City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



David L. Corliss, City Manager


Christina McClelland, Director of Arts and Culture


Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager


November 13, 2014


Design Team Recommendation for the 9th Street Corridor Project


Please place the following item on the November 18, 2014 City Commission agenda:


Authorize City Staff to begin negotiations on a scope and fee with the design team of el dorado inc for the 9th Street Corridor Project. 



In July, the Lawrence Arts Center received a prestigious ArtPlace America grant award for creative placemaking efforts as part of the reconstruction of east 9th Street in Lawrence, Kansas. This 9th Street Corridor area has been identified as an important connection between historic Downtown Lawrence, the East Lawrence Neighborhood, and the redeveloping Industrial Historic District (commonly called the Warehouse Arts District). The corridor is located in the City's recently designated Cultural District, an area with a high concentration of artistic, cultural, historic and natural amenities. The corridor includes three (3) designated historic districts- the Downtown Historic District, the North Rhode Island Street Historic Residential District, and the East Lawrence Industrial Historic District.


In late August, a public meeting was held to collect public input on the draft Request for Qualifications (RFQ) prepared by staff. This RFQ was to identify a creative team with experience in urban design, complete streets, civil engineering, creative placemaking, and public art to work with the City of Lawrence, the neighborhood boards (ELNA and DLI), and other community stakeholders to create a design for the six blocks of east 9th Street, from Delaware Street to Massachusetts Street. The 9th Street Corridor project will create a multi-modal connection utilizing accessible complete streets concepts and  upgraded amenities. In addition, the public art component of the project will be designed in tandem with the infrastructure, developing platforms for visual and performing art and engaging local artists. The majority of comments received from this public meeting were incorporated into the document. The final RFQ was released in early September.


Proposals were received from six (6) interested design teams. The review committee included: Chuck Soules, City Director of Public Works; David Cronin, City Engineer; Diane Stoddard, Assistant City Manager; Christina McClelland, Director of Arts & Culture; David Corliss, City Manager; Susan Tate, CEO of the Lawrence Art Center; East Lawrence Neighborhood Association representatives Jacki Becker and Dave Loewenstein; architect Mike Myers, adjacent property owner Marcia Hill, City Commissioner Bob Schumm, John Gaunt, University of Kansas Dean of Architecture, Design, and Planning; and Michael Almon, Sustainability Action Network. The Review Committee selected three (3) teams to interview after an initial review of all of the proposals. Interviews were held on November 29, 2014. Of the three (3) teams, the committee reached a consensus in favor of the design team led by el dorado inc out of Kansas City. Their team includes lead artists Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees of San Façon (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and civil engineer firm Bartlett & West (Lawrence, KS). San Facon will subcontract with Dennis Domer, a local historian, and Luke Dubois, an engineer and artist who teaches at NYU. The team will also include landscape architect Coen + Partners (Minneapolis, MN) and local indigenous plant specialist Kelly Kindscher (Lawrence, Kansas).


Next Steps:

The selection committee recommends that the City Commission authorize that negotiations commence on scope and fee with the design team led by el dorado inc. The selection committee believes that the el dorado inc team demonstrated clearly, through like experience, capable and innovative approaches to multi-modal complete street projects that integrate public art. What set them apart, and was considered a plus, was having an award-winning lead artist (Sans Façon) already in place on the team to facilitate the public art component of the project. Additionally, the team showed thoughtful commitment and consideration for both the context of the project in the neighborhood and for engaging the diverse stakeholders involved.


If the City Commission grants authority to begin negotiations, the selection committee proposes to have a contract back before the City Commission for consideration in mid-December 2014. Once the creative team is in place, there will be numerous input opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the design process. It is anticipated that a design concept will be presented to the City Commission in May 2015, at the conclusion of the input process.


Requested Action:

Authorize staff to begin negotiations on scope and fee with el dorado inc on a contract for design for the 9th Street Corridor project.