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NEW YORK CITY-The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has narrowed the field of contenders for the plum assignment of compiling a Lower Manhattan urban guideline and transportation study down to six and will announce the winner this week.

An LMDC official tells GlobeSt.com that six of the original 15 respondents to an RFP sent out jointly with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last month were interviewed Thursday and “this week it will be narrowed down to one, most probably before the hearing on Thursday.” The first of five public forums focusing on Downtown redevelopment to take place between now and the mid-December release date for the study is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Included on the LMDC/Port Authority short list are:

  • EE&K/URS–A joint venture of local architectural firm Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn and San Francisco-based engineering firm URS Corp.
  • New York firms Fox & Fowle Architects PC; engineering, architecture and construction firm STV Inc.; and engineering and mass transit specialist DMJM Harris
  • Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP and engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, both based here
  • Locally based architecture design firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and London-based Arup
  • Archictects Davis Brody Bond LLP, based here
  • Long Beach, CA-based environmental design and construction firm Earth Tech and transportation planning and traffic engineers Urbitran, based here

    According to an Ehrenkrantz spokeswoman, respondents were urged to refrain from submitting specific plans and were asked to limit their proposals to qualification issues. “They want someone who can work collaboratively” she tells GlobeSt.com. “LMDC and PANJY have done a lot of their own work and research in regard to what could be done with that site and they need someone who will work with them. That’s the key, really. They need to form a team that can work with LMDC, the Port Authority, the private sector, the government and all the other stakeholders.”

    The three-phase timeline outlined developed by LMDC and the Port Authority calls for the winning team to submit six concepts for the site before the July public forum, which would then be narrowed to three by September. A December unveiling is scheduled for the final plan, though observers say more time may be needed.

    The winning team will be selected by three LMDC members and three Port Authority representatives. The group is expected to present its findings to the two governing bodies and a decision should be reached in time LMDC’s first public forum. The hearing is scheduled for this Thursday from 6 to 9 pm at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce St.

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