Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Issued Thursday
(Austin, TX) — Central Health today issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for developers interested in participating in one of the most exciting mixed-use development projects in Austin’s history − the redevelopment of the Central Health Brackenridge Campus.
The RFQ is a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Brackenridge Campus, the 14.3-acre landmark Austin property that since 1889 has been home to the community’s safety net hospital, today’s University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB). The campus is at the heart an evolving Innovation Zone and next to the growing Health District, which includes the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin and the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas − the new teaching hospital scheduled to open in May 2017. The campus is centered around the Texas Capitol Complex, historic East Central Austin, Waterloo Park, and the Red River Cultural District.
As owner of the property that composes the Brackenridge Campus superblock − six contiguous blocks of Northeast Downtown − Central Health plans to partner with a master developer to redesign and repurpose the property, including adding new infrastructure and buildings. The project will be a high density, mixed-use development with pedestrian-friendly streets, a public market, and open spaces connecting to the Waller Creek Greenway. The Brackenridge Campus Master Plan, the guiding document adopted by the Central Health Board of Managers earlier this year, includes proposed mixed-uses such as office, hotel, retail, housing, as well as opportunities for additional health-related uses including medical services, research, and technological innovation.
“The professionals selected through this RFQ process will help Central Health create a sustainable financial resource that supports the health care needs of our low-income residents,” said Patricia Young Brown, Central Health President & CEO. “The redeveloped campus will provide an enormous community benefit, creating a vibrant economic engine that spurs innovative, inclusive, and engaging activity connecting our entire community. The redevelopment of this property represents a singular moment in our community’s history and we look forward to working with the brightest and most thoughtful developers to bring the community’s vision to life.”
Seton Healthcare Family, which leases the Brackenridge property from Central Health, plans to relocate hospital operations across the street to the new teaching hospital in mid-2017. This transition will present an unprecedented opportunity for Central Health to redevelop the Brackenridge Campus into a healthy, equitable, and innovative space that both promotes health and contributes financially to serving uninsured and underinsured individuals in Travis County. The current RFQ process will identify developers who have proven experience and visionary plans that align with Central Health’s mission − to support the health care in the community − and maximize future lease revenue.
“Central Health is pursuing a transaction for the Brackenridge hospital site that will support its mission and benefit the community in a variety of ways,” said Central Health Board Member Clarke Heidrick, who is also chairperson of the UMCB/Downtown Campus Committee. “Future lease revenue from development of this campus will help fund access to health care for those who need it most.”
“We expect a robust competition among experienced and well-capitalized developers from throughout the country,” said Juan Garza, Central Health Vice President of Finance and Development. “There are only a handful of projects like this one around the country so this will be an attractive project for developers.”
The Brackenridge Campus Master Plan projects roughly 3.7 million square feet or more of new
construction. The Master Plan is the culmination of a two-year planning and public engagement process that gathered feedback from thousands of residents through community events, meetings, and surveys.
“The public market building and open green space are designed to bring people together,” said Christie Garbe, Central Health Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “This redevelopment will provide a lasting community benefit for generations to come.”
The launching point for the Brackenridge Campus redevelopment was Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson’s 2011 “10 Goals in 10 Years” initiative to address Central Texas health care needs. The redevelopment was made possible when Travis County voters passed a ballot measure in 2012 to increase Central Health’s funding. This voter mandate led to the creation of the new medical school and construction of the new teaching hospital.
This current Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is Step 1 of a two-step process. Following a review of initial qualifications submitted by interested respondents, an evaluation committee will determine which respondents would be best suited to respond to the future Request for Proposal (RFP) for the redevelopment of the campus and meet the objectives of Central Health and the community. To download the RFQ and read more about the Brackenridge Campus Master Plan, visit: CentralHealthCampus.net
Central Health is here to make our community stronger by investing in access to health care for low-income residents. We are the local public entity that connects low-income Travis County residents to high-quality, cost-effective health care. We work with a network of partners to eliminate health disparities to reach our vision of Travis County becoming a model healthy community.