The Local Redevelopment Authority for Roosevelt Roads today published a Request for Qualifications seeking potential investors and developers for approximately 3,000 acres of lands and facilities available for a mixed use project with tourist, commercial, light industrial, educational and residential opportunities.
“The LRA wants to interest developers and/or investors that are highly qualified and experienced, with the technical capabilities and economic resources to design, build, operate and finance all or part of one of the most attractive sites in the world for doing business,” said Malu Blázquez-Arsuaga,executive director of the agency overseeing the redevelopment project along a vast stretch of land formerly used by the Navy in Ceiba.
“This announcement marks a milestone in the redevelopment process of the lands at Roosevelt Roads. After only one year from the transfer of ownership of all developable lands to the government of Puerto Rico, we initiate this RFQ for master developers,” she said.
Blázquez-Arsuaga underscored that this RFQ will spark the interest of developers and/or investors internationally and in Puerto Rico.
“This process is different from others because the scale of our offering is very large, diverse and attractive — in the quality of its physical and ecological attributes — to justify a considerable investment from the type of developers we are looking for,” she said.
The Roosevelt Roads redevelopment plan calls for a 25-year strategy expected to attract more than $2 billion in investments and potentially create 20,000 jobs, she said.
Roosevelt Roads is unique for its prime waterfront harbor, home to a major airport with an 11,000-foot runway, proximity to some of the world’s most magnificent beaches, such as Luquillo beach, and the neighboring islands of Vieques and Culebra, and year-round tropical climate.
“Puerto Rico also offers the convenience and safety of being a Commonwealth of the United States. Passports are not necessary for U. S. citizens, and English and Spanish are the official languages,” she said. “If you add to that equation our talented workforce and very attractive tax incentives, you combine compelling criteria to be considered by decision makers when evaluating this RFQ.”
After the Authority pre-selects several master developers, the second phase will involve requesting and evaluating their proposals through a Request for Proposals process to implement the Master Plan and its nine development zones, consistent with the new Land Use Plan, whose modifications will be ready next month.
The Land Use Plan increases the buffer zones between the developable and conservation areas, makes flexible its uses and facilitates the achievement of development permits. Also, 20 percent of residences built will be devoted to affordable homes for families and young professionals from the eastern region of Puerto Rico. The selection of master developers will culminate by December 2014, the agency said.
The RFQs are being published today at www.rooseveltroads.pr.gov, and bidder forms are due July 16, the agency indicated, adding it will hold an optional pre-submittal meeting and property tour on July 17 at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads. The Statement of Qualifications deadline for respondents is due Aug. 7.
“The RFQ will be the engine that drives the redevelopment project. The master developers will be the point of convergence of other developers, small and medium sized business owners, entrepreneurs and the communities that will move this project forward. Together they will create the jobs and spur economic development that will transform the lives of the people and economies of the region and Puerto Rico,” said Blázquez-Arsuaga.