City requests proposals to beautify downtown parking ramp

Oct. 16, 2020

Attention, artists, designers and other community-minded supporters: This downtown parking ramp needs some help, and the city is asking for your ideas.

A request for proposals issued today calls for submittals involving community art and site enhancements at the new Mall Avenue parking ramp at 110 S. Mall Ave.

Proposers should “consider opportunities to positively impact the experiences of all who may encounter their project, including visitors, residents and employees,” the RFP said.

The city will consider sponsored artwork on the vertical south-facing exterior concrete surface of the parking ramp, approximately 15,000 square feet of space that can be used as one surface or broken into sections for multiple areas of artwork.

It also is open to proposals for the horizontal surface to the south of the ramp between the ramp and the 10th Street sidewalk, which is about 10,400 square feet and also can be broken into sections.

“People can apply for either or both spaces,” said Jeff Eckhoff, the city’s director of planning and development services. “We’re hoping that it’s sponsored. There have been companies that have inquired and said they would like to help out and sponsor something.”

The city plans “to award exclusive negotiation rights to one or more qualified proposers whose qualifications and proposal are deemed to be the most viable and advantageous to the downtown economy and the city,” according to the RFP.

Proposals are due Nov. 10, and the city plans to execute a contract in December.

Community organizations, artists, designers, firms, landscape architects, teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration companies residing in a 60-mile radius of Sioux Falls or that have a personal connection to Sioux Falls are qualified to apply.

The call is open to any proposer with experience having created or the ability to create large outdoor murals and active community spaces.

Proposers are asked to “design a work that fits well within the context of the site (scale and theme, and) generate a work that is artistically interesting, evokes positivity and honors the One Sioux Falls mind-set.”

The firm Confluence provided some examples of what could be done, including an “urban beach” with swings and a climbing wall along the ground level.

A “midtown green” could include turf, artwork or a fundraising opportunity.

A “color pop plaza” could include painted asphalt, food trucks and a shipping container bar.

An evaluation team will score proposals based on:

  • Innovative approach, community value and timeliness.
  • Evoking positivity and exemplifying a One Sioux Falls spirit.
  • Artistic expression or functionality.
  • Feasibility and maintenance.
  • The proposer residing in the defined geographical footprint.

The city reserves the right to remove the artwork and site improvements on the vertical or horizontal spaces for any reason after six months from the agreed upon completion.

The ramp itself is completed and operational. A multiuse plan that would have included a hotel and retail shops there never came together, leaving the ramp looking unfinished and redevelopment on hold.

“From a planning side, we do get inquiries about the status of it,” Eckhoff said. “It’s a great site. We’ve had different developers talk about it, and we’ve had very general conversation. They’re just checking to see the status because people know it’s there and it’s tied up, so there remains interest, but it’s all tied around when it can become available.”

To see the request for proposals, click here.

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City requests proposals to beautify downtown parking ramp

Attention, artists, designers and other community-minded supporters: This downtown parking ramp needs some help, and the city is asking for your ideas.

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