The City of Manassas Park received an unsolicited proposal from a Manassas engineering company to build a new city hall and parking garage for as much as $24 million, according to city documents.
EMSI Engineering Inc. of Manassas hand-delivered the seven-page document and proposal cover letter to city officials on Nov. 21. The company’s proposal states that the parking garage would accompany the new city hall, costing about $10 million to $12 million for each structure, according to the EMSI proposal. Those figures are based on similar projects completed by the company.
The construction would take between 15 and 18 months, which means the structure could be completed by the summer of 2014, if the permitting process begins in January, according to the proposal. The proposed 60,000-square-foot city hall would be constructed on city-owned land on Park Center Court, adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad line. Another option is for EPI Partners—the limited licensing corporation created by EMSI for the project—to “swap” land the company already owns in the same area for the city’s land.
EPI Partners LLC will retain an option to lease back from the city 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of the new facility for EMSI Engineering’s new headquarters. EMSI Engineering Inc. partner Talal Hassan said a key part in the financing of the project would be for his company to relocate to Manassas Park.
Hassan said he is aware of Manassas Park’s strained financial situation, but if the company is located in Manassas Park, it would bring tax dollars and more than 100 jobs to the city. Manassas Park officials have said on several occasions that more businesses are badly needed in the city and are key in improving the city’s finances. People would pay to use the parking garage, which would help pay back the costs of building the facilities, Hassan said.
EMSI Engineering partners spent some six months coming up with the proposal, Hassan said. One of the partners, who he declined to identify, is highly vested in Manassas Park and has been doing business in the area for more than 25 years, Hassan added. About two years ago, the company approached the city about building a library in Manassas Park, but nothing ever came of it, Hassan said.
City officials did respond to that proposal, but Hassan said it couldn’t be done at that time, he added.
As of Tuesday, the company hadn’t heard anything from city officials about its latest proposal, Hassan said.
Manassas Park City Manager Jim Zumwalt said city council will be adopting the revised guidelines for handling Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure proposals and Public-Private Transportation Projects at Tuesday's meeting. The guidelines are relevant to the unsolicited proposal because they are the rules under which it will be considered, Zumwalt said. He doesn't anticipate any discussion of the proposal during that meeting, he added.
It is not clear when the Manassas Park City Council will meet to discuss the proposal. The EMSI proposal and proposal letter is available online at the City of Manassas Park’s website.
The city is accepting competing unsolicited proposals for simultaneous consideration. Proposals should be submitted to: City Manager’s Office, City of Manassas Park, One Park Center Court, Manassas Park, VA 20111. Proposals should comply with the City of Manassas Park Combined Guidelines for Public-Private Education Facilities (PPEA) and Infrastructure and Public-Private Transportation (PPTA). The guidelines are available on the city's website. Qualifying proposals should address the development of properties in the vicinity of the VRE Commuter Rail Station in Manassas Park.
For further information contact the City of Manassas Park 703-335-8813.
Competing proposals will be accepted until Jan. 9.