RFP for Roosevelt Roads redevelopment begins
Gone are the days of the Roosevelt Roads Master Development Plan, in are the days of design and build for the dilapidated former Navy territory in Ceiba.
Jointly announcing the opening of the request for proposals (RFP) process for four distinct projects in the old Navy base were Malu Blázquez Arsuaga, executive director of the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA); and Alberto Bacó Bagué, secretary of the Economic Development & Commerce Department.
Although not able to approximate the possible investment in the area, "it will depend on the final projects selected for development," said Bacó, who assured that the development activity would create nearly 3,000 jobs.
"Today, we formally begin the transformation of the old Roosevelt Roads naval base into Puerto Rico's east-coast development engine. The RFP is an example of how we intend to move ahead at a steady pace with Roosevelt Roads' redevelopment, and how Puerto Rico will continue to be a destination of excellent economic-development opportunities," Blázquez Arsuaga said.
The RFP that opens this first phase of redevelopment entails nearly 550 acres, which will be divided into four distinct categories: one eco-tourism project on 57.2 acres near the border with Naguabo; one academic-institutional center on 165.6 acres; one light-industrial area of 289.73 acres; and a commercial marina & fishing wharf on 40.2 acres.
The intention of the RFP is to entice developers and investors, with the professional and financial capability, to purchase or lease the land for diverse uses, including tourism, commercial, recreational, residential, educational and light industrial. Although all proposals will be considered, Bacó explained, "those who can prove their financial standing to begin immediately will take precedence. We won't select [proposals] from those who don't have the financial backing to begin immediately."
Earlier this week, the RFP process was officially opened, and details will be available on the LRA webpage www.lafrr.com. All interested groups must attend a mandatory meeting Nov. 5 at 10 a.m., at Roosevelt Roads. The closing date for the sealed RFP is Dec. 20.
"By the middle of next year, we should have begun the redevelopment of the old naval base," Blázquez said.