AECOM has proposed an overhaul of a 4-mile stretch of downtown Los Angeles along the Los Angeles River, according to Los Angeles Downtown News.
The L.A. River Gateway project would see the public agencies that own property along the waterway form a coalition to redevelop more than 600 acres as a unit with new housing, infrastructure and community space. The initiative also calls for private partnerships to develop more mixed-use projects close to the river.
The pitch was unsolicited, but AECOM has reportedly been in talks with the mayor's office about the project for more than a year. The company said it would like to perform the work for one large railroad yard renovation project along the river but that the primary goal of its plan is to avoid piecemeal development.
So great are the opportunities to develop certain publicly owned properties — and so stiff is the competition — that large companies like AECOM are not waiting around for requests for proposals but instead offering up major redevelopment plans themselves.
Spurred by local firm Burns & McDonnell's unsolicited bid to spearhead a $1 billion renovation of the Kansas City (MO) International Airport, AECOM submitted an alternative proposal, leading Kansas City officials to implement an official bid process.
AECOM placed first in an informal ranking immediately after all four teams turned in their proposals, and Burns & McDonnell's team was the hometown favorite. However, the city council selected Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate largely based on its choice to fund the project through debt financing.
Voters must still approve the project at the ballot box in November before it can move forward. There is the potential for protests concerning how Edgemoor was chosen as well as a possible misinterpretation of Burns & McDonnell's proposed financing.
Unsolicited proposals were also the driving force behind the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's decision to start preparing RFPs for three new transit projects, which the agency will carry out as public-private partnerships (P3s).
The projects will be funded by Measure M, which is a regional half-cent tax increase that voters approved in 2016. Metro officials said they hope to benefit from private-sector innovation, and they felt a P3 structure would likely see the projects completed faster than some of its previous transit projects.