McIntire Botanical Garden Request for Proposal

PROPOSAL Instructions for Physical and Digital Submissions

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals next week. There is no physical address so all proposals must be sent to PO Box 6224 Charlottesville VA 22906 through the USPS. Because of the Martin Luther King holiday, the original due date was backed up to 1/16/2018. Because of holiday mail schedule concerns, a digital copy is acceptable as a placeholder until noon on 1/17/2018.

Digital proposal placeholders can be emailed to

Digital files will not be opened until the mailed proposal is received. Nor will they be accepted as substitutes of the mailed proposal. The digital file may not be altered in any way from the mailed proposal. Any digital file found to be revised from the mailed proposal will be disqualified.


LEAD CONTACT: Jill Trischman-Marks

EMAIL: DATE: October 24, 2017


The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from qualified landscape architectural firms, or other firms with landscape architecture and horticulture as primary disciplines, to develop for McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc. (hereafter referred to as MBG) a phased Master Site Plan (hereafter referred to as MBG Master Site Plan or Site Plan) for the Garden located on 8.5 acres in eastern McIntire Park (ATTACHMENT A) in Charlottesville, Virginia.


The McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) is an 8.5-acre tract of undeveloped parkland on the north end of the eastern section of McIntire Park in the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, near the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway. McIntire Park and the acreage designated for the Garden are owned by the City of Charlottesville. McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc. (MBG, Inc.) is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation working in partnership under a Memorandum of Agreement (ATTACHMENT B) with the City of Charlottesville to plan, design, construct and operate the Garden.

The McIntire Botanical Garden will be located in the center of “the world class City of Charlottesville” where it will serve more than 280,000 people in five adjacent counties.

The Garden’s design elements must reflect the unique character of the Piedmont region while incorporating horticultural collections that invite and inspire visitors of all ages. A new and emerging public garden must invite and encourage a culture that connects people to the natural and horticultural world. Environmental stewardship and heightened awareness of ecology and permaculture will draw a younger crowd to the Garden, which is critical to its continued growth.

MBG, Inc. has the unique opportunity and challenge to create and develop a garden that brings to fruition our Vision and Mission, strengthens our programs and creates a destination to delight and inspire visitors, tourists, students, and academics. MBG will become a compelling asset to the City and surrounding region.

Vision of the MBG  To cultivate a public garden that reflects the unique character of the Piedmont region while promoting knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of native and site adapted plants through display, education and research.

Mission of the MBG  To celebrate Virginia’s botanical and horticultural heritage in evocative gardens and landscapes central to Charlottesville’s community that are enticing and educational year-round, and invite everyone to enjoy the splendor and complexity of our natural world.



The MBG Master Site Plan shall be informed by the vision, mission, goals and planning objectives of MBG, Inc. (ATTACHMENT D), and, the design for the MBG must be informed by the City of Charlottesville’s adopted Schematic Park Plan (ATTACHMENT C) for McIntire Park East (hereinafter referred to as “The Park Plan”). The Park Plan is illustrative of intent except for the entrance drive, parking lot, siting and ground design work for the Visitors Education Center and the Botanical Garden Pond and connection to other parts of the park (ATTACHMENT I). Design work for these elements is not required for this proposal.

The MBG Master Site Plan shall include an entry Welcome Pavilion next to the circular drive (see Park Plan) and ancillary structures, developed in concert with the Visitors Education Center. Final configurations of gardens and connecting walks, as well as exact locations and sizes of other components for the McIntire Botanical Garden will be determined during the MBG Master Site Plan design process.

The MBG Master Site Plan and all phases of proposed work must be in compliance with industry standards, and all federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations.

At this time, we are seeking to move forward with the Schematic Design phase only, but the overall scope of the entire project is to include, but is not limited to, the following:

1. A comprehensive Site Plan that can be implemented incrementally and which includes the following three phases:

a. Schematic Design Phase (which is the only phase being considered in this RFP);

b. Design Development Phase

c. Construction Documents Phase

2. Prepare itemized cost estimates for the MBG Master Site Plan, including:

a. Total estimated price of each phase

b. Itemized costs and Schedule of Values for each phase

c. An hourly rate for additional services such as attending additional stakeholder meetingsbeyond the three required in III-A- 4 and 5+ additional meetings required in III- B- 6.

3. Prepare a timeline for project delivery from Schematic Design through Construction Documents Phases to be used for fund-raising goal setting.

4. Attend and provide both direct and support roles at all necessary meetings during all phases of the design process. Present the designs to appropriate individuals, boards and/or groups, including, the McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc. Board and committees, the City of Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department staff, and other stakeholders as may be deemed necessary. Offeror will be required to conduct no less than three (3) stakeholder review meetings throughout both the Schematic and Design Development Phases of the project.


1. Conduct no less than three (3) stakeholder review meetings throughout the Schematic Design Phase.

2. Conduct a comprehensive visitor/users survey targeting diverse groups such as MBG current mailing list and community stakeholders. The survey should include, but not be limited to, demographics, types of potential support – such as becoming a member, probable uses of the Garden’s amenities and programs, which elements of the City Park Plan are most appealing, etc.

3. Coordinate with the City Parks and Recreation Department regarding the stream remediation planning as needed, in order to accurately site the stream project in the Site Plan. The stream project could affect the siting of the pond and other features along the stream. The Site Plan shall include details of the stream remediation plan and its effect on the MBG area

4. Study neighborhood traffic patterns and site accessibility restrictions and make recommendations for changes and or modifications to facilitate pedestrian access to the McIntire Botanical Garden from the north (along Melbourne Road), as well as emergency vehicle access.

5. Based on this research and any other site analysis, prepare three preliminary schematic designs, outline specifications and budget cost estimates that shall include locations for elements identified by The Park Plan for the MBG including but not limited to the Botanical Garden Pond, the Visitors Education Center, Welcome Pavilion, ancillary structures, preliminary circulation layout, garden locations and interpretive stops.

6. Produce preliminary grading, drainage, storm water management, and similar design services for each preliminary design option. All such services shall reflect applicable governmental requirements.

7. The MBG will select one of the preliminary schematic designs after consultation with the Offeror and community stakeholders.

8. Offerer will provide a minimum of five (5) detailed color illustrations of various vistas of the proposed design for use by MBG in demonstrating to the public and donors what the Garden will look like when developed. Such depictions must be usable in print and all electronic communications, including a website, social media and emails, advertisements and on billboard- size weather-proof outdoor signage (4’ x 6’, or 4’ x 8’) The artistic renderings must be submitted as full-color hard copies and as electronic files that are compatible with print and electronic media.


1. Provide a detailed Site Plan for the MBG selected preliminary design for the 8.5 acres.

2. Provide appropriate plans for lighting and wayfinding features.

3. Provide design services relating to the deterrence of wildlife predation of Garden plantings, including fencing options, alternatives to fencing, and costs.

4. Determine ADA requirements and provide necessary recommendations for full compliance with current regulations.

5. Identify structural design, systems, components, security and finish considerations to provide facilities the ability to withstand and function during and after natural disasters such as a hurricane, earthquake, tornado and other natural disasters. This phase should include the design of a Welcome Pavilion and ancillary structures in concert with the siting of the Visitor Education Center and pond. This RFP excludes architectural/structural design of the pond or Visitors Education Center and pond.

6. Consult with and receive feedback from MBG, the City Parks and Recreation Department staff and other appropriate stakeholders, to the initial detailed plan.

7. Provide a revised detailed Site Plan for review by MBG. Approval of the revised detailed plan by the MBG, Inc. will be required prior to proceeding to the Construction Documents Phase.

8. Provide a suggested sequencing of infrastructure and design elements for implementation of the site plan.

9. Provide a minimum of five (5) detailed color illustrations of various vistas of the detailed Site Plan for use by MBG in demonstrating to the public and donors what the Garden will look like when developed. Such depictions must be usable in print and all electronic communications, including a website, social media and emails, advertisements and on billboard-size weather- proof outdoor signage (4’ x 6’, or 4’ x 8’) The artistic renderings must be submitted as full-color hard copies and as electronic files that are compatible with print and electronic media.

10. Provide a preliminary project cost estimate broken down by construction phases/elements.

Based on the approval of MBG, in the Design Development Phase:

1. Prepare construction documents in accordance with all governmental regulations for the site works: grading, storm water management, Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC), as well as landscape and construction of basic improvements such as utilities layout and routing, including rough-in considerations for utilities serving the future Visitors Education Center, earth work, trails, access points, walkways and other components mutually agreed to that will provide access throughout the MBG.

2. Submit a final detailed project cost estimate based on project build-out. Detailed project cost estimate must be broken down by each construction implementation element with sufficient detail to begin final project budgeting.

3. All drawings shall be created using AUTOCAD 14 or later releases.

4. Prepare operational staffing, maintenance and resource level estimates required to operate construction phase of development.

5. Assist MBG with services during all phases of bidding, review of construction bids and responding to questions in writing during the bidding period.


The work under this RFP for landscape and horticultural designs and construction documents for the MBG Master Site Plan requires expertise in the following disciplines:

1. LandscapeArchitectureDesign:Thearchitectural/engineeringteamshallhaveastrong foundation in horticulture, landscape architectural design and management principles representative of best practices for the profession; have a proven ability to creatively design projects that meet the operational, construction and cost objectives; and have the ability to coordinate and manage all participating consultants and sub-consultants associated with the project including all of the following:

  1. Site planning
  2. Planting design
  3. Horticultural expertise, specifically native and site-adapted plantings
  4. Fine art rendition
  5. Grading for aesthetics and drainage
  6. Topographic design for aesthetics, screening, etc.
  7. Wayfinding design
  8. Design of exterior common spaces
  9. The ability to coordinate design efforts for the project to implement the adoptedMBG Master Plan with the City of Charlottesville’s Park Plan
  10. Storm water management design
  11. Cultural, historical and environmental interpretive services

2. Pictorial Representation: The firm selected must have the fine art expertise to produce five (5) detailed depictions of various vistas with the MBG Master Plan as determined by the McIntire Botanical Garden Board of Directors for use by MBG in demonstrating to the public and donors what the Garden will look like. Such depictions must be usable in print and all electronic communications, including a website, social media and emails, advertisements and on billboard-size weather-proof outdoor signage (4’ x 6’, or 4’ x 8’). The artistic renderings must be submitted as full-color hard copies and as electronic files that are compatible with print and electronic media. All renderings shall use MBG Branding Standards.

  1. ConstructionCostEstimating:Including,butnotlimitedto,theprovenabilitytoprovide accurate, ongoing, estimated construction costs; the proven ability to provide an accurate final detailed cost estimate

4. Other Disciplines: As required for complete and successful project completion.

5. The selected firm will be required to:

a. Establish a project approach, project design schedule, communication network,etc. and perform all other duties required of the landscape architect.

b. Consult with the McIntire Botanical Garden Board of Directors, and become veryfamiliar with all of the requirements of the project and summarize those findings in a report to the Board.

c. Perform the Schematic Design phase of the work.

d. Perform the Design Development phase of the work.

e. Perform the Construction Document phase of the work.

f. Perform the Final Construction Cost estimate phase of the work.

g. Provide all necessary design revisions and or modifications.

6. Offeror must have at least oneVirginia Certified Landscape Architect on staff with at least five years of experience.

7. Offeror and any sub-contractors or sub-consultants must be authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

8. Offeror must provide the names and credentials of all staff who will be working on the comprehensive design plan, including an organizational chart, primary contact name and contact information, a list of all sub-consultants or sub-contractors who will be working on the project and their areas of expertise and experience.

9. Offeror must provide one-page descriptions of atleast two similar projects completed in the last 10 years, which demonstrate the Offeror’s qualifications to fulfill this RFP successfully.

10. Offeror must provide three references for whom similar work was done, including valid name, address, phone number and email, and type of projects

1. Offers must attend a pre-proposal conference that includes a site visit and question and answer session Thursday November 16th.

Walk Through Schedule 11/16/17
  • 10:30am MEET at the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway. Parking is available along Melbourne Road.
  • 1:00pm FOLLOW UP Q & A  Location:  County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road, Room 235. Directions: From MBG Site to County Office Building: Take John Warner Parkway South under 250 Bypass; the Parkway becomes McIntire Road. The County Office Building is on the right at the intersection of Preston Avenue. Print Map | Google Map

2. Any questions that arise before the pre-proposal site meeting must be emailed to and received no later than 24 hours before the scheduled meeting. All questions and answers will be addressed at the meeting and will subsequently be posted on the MBG RFP Q&A Page.

3. The site visit will include a walk through McIntire Park East, a walk through the McIntire Botanical Garden site, and an opportunity for questions and answers.

4. The Proposal Package must include:

a) Five (5) copies of a technical proposal that does not include any pricing but has the following key elements:

o Background on the proposing firm(s)

Note: it is acceptable for collaborations between firms provided one firm is fully responsible for the work output and all administration of the project.

o A minimum of two (2) examples of similar work/projects that the firm or principles of the firm have completed in the last 10 years. Examples should include demonstrable evidence that all the phases called for in the MBG project were included from consultation through construction/bidding support.

o Three references that may be contacted for due diligence during the proposal review stage.

b) Two (2) copies of the cost proposal that includes:

o A detailed breakdown of each phase of the project to include expected man hours and any outside resources to be contracted

o A pricing grid with hourly rates for additional services that may (none anticipated at this time) be called upon in pursuit of this or other associated programs over the next 24 months

c. Offeror shall provide MBG with their preferred Contract for Services to be used as a template for negotiation and final agreement.

6. MBG reserves the right to cancel the contract with the chosen Offeror at any time during the process should the MBG Board determines and decides that it is not satisfied with the services provided or the direction of the design, in which case, MBG will honor the contract with the successful Offeror for services provided up to the point of cancellation.

7. MBG intends for the RFP process to be fair to all Offerors, but MBG’s ultimate goal is to benefit MBG’s mission; thus, if no qualified or desirable candidates are identified in the initial step of the process, MBG is not required hereunder to select one of the initial Offerors, and may decide to re-issue the RFP to expand the pool of applicants.

8. All work completed by Offeror, once paid for by MBG, becomes the property of MBG.

9. The Offeror must, no later than 2:00pm January 16th, submit all copies of its proposal by mail in a sealed envelope to:

McIntire Botanical Garden

P.O. BOX 6224


Proposals may not be submitted by fax or email. Submitted proposals become the property of the McIntire Botanical Garden upon receipt.


Sealed proposals will be received until 2:00 p.m. EST on January 16th for furnishing the goods/services described herein. Proposals received after the announced time and date for receipt will remain unopened. No telephoned, faxed, or emailed proposals will be considered.


MBG will evaluate proposals based on the best value to MBG according to the following criteria, within the following ranges:

  • Strength of Overall Proposal: 0 – 10
  • Ability & Method to Perform: 0 – 25
  • Experience: 0 – 30
  • Staffing: 0 – 20
  • References: 0 – 15