Breaking: Market East lineup chosen

Previous coverage

Jan. 20
By Kellie Patrick Gates
For PlanPhilly

Philadelphia City Planning Commission Executive Director Alan Greenberger yesterday released the names of four firms that will help city officials analyze proposals to put Foxwoods Casino at The Gallery at Market East.

PB Americas has been chosen as transportation consultant to analyze all transportation-related information from Foxwoods and PREIT.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a firm with multiple offices, will help the city’s Commerce Department and Redevelopment Authority conduct economic analysis on real estate issues.

Those two firms will be working throughout the project. As will New York based EE&K, the architecture and planning firm selected to help develop a comprehensive plan for the Market East corridor.

Two other firms have been chosen to do shorter-term work analyzing the plan of development for Foxwoods Casino, once the city has it: Philadelphia-based architects SPG3, a firm which Greenberger says has casino-related experience. And D’Agostino Izzo Quirk of Boston, which has specialty retail experience.

Details on the exact scope of work each firm will do and what they will be paid to do it are still being worked out but will be completed by month’s end, Greenberger said.

“In each case we compared their credentials against the credentials of the other firms competing,” he said. A short list of finalists for the strategic planning, economic study and transportation work came to Philadelphia for interviews, he said. The firms hired for shorter-term work were not asked to come, he said.

The city received more than 20 applicants for the RFQs, according to Greenberger.
The breakdown:
For the strategic planner, about a dozen.
For transportation, four
For economic consultant, three or four.
For the casino and specialty retail experts (they lumped these together), 10.

Like any interview process, the winning firms were those whose representatives “talked with the enthusiasm that gives us confidence they can grapple with the complexity the best,” Greenberger said. “Chemistry is also a part of it.”

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