Request for Qualifications from Master Planning, Landscape, Architectural, & Engineering Services Open Through May 8

Riverfront Recapture is soliciting proposals from qualified teams experienced in waterfront park design to provide Master Planning, Landscape, Architectural Design, & Engineering Services for a new riverfront park, regional trail extension, and a contemplated commercial development for our new park on the Hartford-Windsor line. Download the RFQ document here

April 3, 2023: RFQ opens
April 21, 2023: Deadline to submit RFQ-related questions.
April 25, 2023: All submitted questions have been answered and published here.
May 8, 2023, 5 pm EST: RFQ Submission deadline. 
Notifications  to applicants will be made by the end of June 2023

Project/Property Background
Riverfront Recapture has a development project covering 76 acres that will feature a new riverfront park, contemplated commercial development, and regional trail system extension in the north end of Hartford and south end of Windsor, Connecticut. The project area consists of 60 acres of land owned by Riverfront and 16 previously inaccessible acres of Windsor Meadows State Park, which Riverfront will manage via a stewardship agreement with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP).

The property is notable for barriers cutting the community off from the Connecticut River, which runs along the entire eastern edge of the land. To the south, the property is bordered by Meadow Brook and Hartford’s landfill, to the west by high-speed rail tracks and Interstate 91, and to the north by Decker’s Brook. For over a century, the land was used for farming; most of the property is an open field with remnants of the floodplain forest on its edges. Over the last 50-plus years, the previous owners mined and processed sand, silt, and clay for sale, used the land for commercial truck parking, and as a contractor laydown area for equipment related to railroad construction. Pesticides and construction fill such as concrete, asphalt, and building debris are present throughout the property and are environmental concerns.

The property is located at 100 Meadow Road, Windsor, Connecticut. Exhibit A shows the approximate boundaries of the project area.T

Project Scope
The scope of the project will include, in order of priority:

  • program development, with a focus on community & stakeholder input,
  • park master planning,
  • community engagement facilitation,
  • conceptual planning & design,
  • project phasing,
  • preliminary design services
  • cost estimating,
  • funding plan,
  • regulatory permitting.

Selection Process Priorities

Riverfront Recapture’s priorities in the selection process include:

  • experience in designing innovative and engaging public spaces,
  • a robust and inclusive community engagement process,
  • experience in regulatory permitting especially related to building in a floodplain,
  • an understanding of environmental restrictions,
  • a background in brownfield site development,
  • experience in sustainable building practice,
  • demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion & diversity,
  • and track record of successful park design projects attracting construction funding.

Vision/Design Process Goal
The central vision for this process is transforming this parcel into a public park that embodies Riverfront Recapture’s mission to connect people with the Connecticut River. Anticipated program includes the development of areas supporting active and passive recreation, youth programs, large-scale community events, and festivals. A major program element in this parcel is a newly constructed nine-acre cove to be home to Riverfront Recapture’s paddle sport and outdoors center. The multimodal trail will close the final gap in a seven-plus mile Riverwalk system linking the region from South Windsor to the south end of Hartford and East Hartford, creating a vital new regional asset and increasing non-motorized, carbon-free transportation in the area.

Ten acres of uplands is contemplated for potential mixed-use commercial development that complements the park design. As developers of public spaces in and around the Connecticut River floodplain, Riverfront Recapture’s green building practices focus on creating public spaces and structures using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient processes throughout their life cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and ultimately deconstruction.

The project has attracted significant investment from municipal, state, federal, and philanthropic sources, including a Federal HUD grant with funds for park development and community engagement.

Current Project Status
As of April 1, 2023, the following development tasks have been completed:

  • Site boundary and topography survey,
  • Phase I, II & III environmental investigations
  • Archeological study
  • Natural diversity database study
  • Historic property study
  • Assessment, abatement, and demolition of three derelict structures
  • Remedial action plan developed
  • Preliminary site design for proposed cove, Riverwalk and commercial development area
  • Commercial market analysis
  • Conceptual commercial site and building elevations for marketing to private developers
  • Regulatory permits submitted

RFQ Submission Requirements
Qualifications shall include the following information:

  1. Firm Background Information:
    Provide a firm overview including the following:
    1. Firm Name
    2. Address
    3. City, State, Zip
    4. Contact information for two primary representatives from your firm
    5. Type of Firm (Corporation, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, Joint Venture)
    6. Federal Employer Identification Number
    7. Year Firm was established
    8. Years in Business under its present name
    9. All other names by which your organization has been known
    10. The length of time known by each name
  2. Project Team
    1. Provide resumes of the principal individuals who will be directly responsible for this project. Indicate for each principal team member:
      1. The specific role each person will play for the duration of the contract.
      2. The number of years of experience.
      3. The supervisory responsibilities.
      4. A list of relevant project experience. 
      5. Experience in engagement with a diverse group of stakeholders, such as board members, staff, community organizations, municipal entities, etc.
    2. Identify what disciplines your firm provides in-house and which disciplines will be provided by a consultant. Please provide a firm overview and experience list for each consultant, as well as the number of years your firm has worked with each consultant.
  3. Project Approach: Describe your understanding of the project scope, describe your process, and provide a timeline that identifies major proposed tasks and products
  4. Relevant Project Experience: Provide a detailed overview of at least three (3), and not more than five (5) recent projects similar in scope to the Riverfront Park Development Project completed in the last fifteen (15) years. Provide the following information for each project:
    1. Project name
    2. Location with address
    3. Client name (complete with agency name, contact person, address, and phone). This should be the person whom you have done business with on each of the projects listed. Please confirm their willingness to provide a reference.
    4. Estimated project cost
    5. Actual project cost
    6. Estimated completion date
    7. Actual completion date
    8. Project description
    9. Photos/renderings of the project

RFQ responses will be evaluated to determine the extent to which the firm can meet Riverfront Recapture’s needs, as outlined here. The following criteria will be used for evaluation purposes: 

  1. Firms understanding of the project and ability to provide design solutions compatible with Riverfront Recapture’s goals for the park. 
  2. Qualifications of key personnel and project team.
  3. Level of experience in park design and community engagement services of a similar scale and project type.
    1. Experience in the development of master plans for park, developing and leading community engagement process, conceptual planning, design, regulatory permitting, project phasing, cost estimating and funding plan.
    2. Demonstrated experience conducting successful community engagement and gathering input from community members, RRI’s staff and board, community and government leaders, and other stakeholders.
    3. Experience in designing innovative and engaging public spaces.
    4. Experience in regulatory permitting especially related to building in a floodplain, an understanding of environmental restrictions, a background in brownfield site development.
    5. Experience in sustainable design.
    6. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.
    7. Track record of successful park design projects attracting construction funding.
  4. Evidence of the team’s ability to provide services in accordance with the requirements of this RFQ.

Each RFQ will be evaluated using the above criteria. Proposers are encouraged to provide sufficient information and references to demonstrate their experience.  A short list of firms will be invited to provide a proposal for the project.

Submission Process
Responses to this RFQ must be submitted using the form below. Proposals must be for the scope of services outlined in this RFQ. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Submit a PDF proposal, not to exceed 50 MB, by 5 pm EST, May 8, 2023.

For assistance, please contact Martha Conneely at 860-713-3131 ext. 316 or

Selection Process
A select team of Riverfront Recapture staff and board members will evaluate all eligible RFQ submissions. The review process is expected to take between 6-8 weeks. All candidates will be notified via email of the outcome of the review process. Successful candidates will be invited to participate in the RFP process.

About Riverfront Recapture
Riverfront Recapture is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981. We manage, maintain, and operate four riverfront parks and their connected riverwalks and trails.

Our mission is to connect people with the Connecticut River, and we do just that, year-round in our clean and safe parks.

Learn more about Riverfront Recapture here.