City issues NOI for design and construction of 4 new borough-based jails

Rikers Island NYC
State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi has called on NYS and NYC to immediately implement decarceral policies to reduce jail population at Rikers.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) released a new Notice of Intent (NOI) for the city’s Borough-Based Jails Program Thursday detailing the design build procurement process to construct new facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

The NOI further announced that the procurements will use an innovative Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) approach.

DDC is working with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) to implement the city’s plan to build four smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail facilities and to close the jails on Rikers Island.

The facilities will be designed to accommodate the needs of families as well as for medical, mental health, education and therapeutic programming service providers. Passed by the City Council in October 2019, the city’s plan comes at a time when New York City has the lowest crime and incarceration rates of any large city in the United States.

“We have listened carefully to our industry partners about the most effective way to manage the Borough-Based Jails procurements to encourage the greatest participation by highly qualified firms and to deliver the best facilities we can both effectively and efficiently,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Public Buildings Deputy Commissioner Thomas Foley. “This has led us to modify our upcoming contracts from lump sum to a more flexible, collaborative Guaranteed Maximum Price format that we believe will be preferable for the industry while also protecting the City from unexpected cost overruns on these highly complex projects. We strongly encourage qualified designers and builders to join us in this transformational program to create facilities that enable the best modern correctional practices.”

DDC has already initiated or completed procurements for design-build services for more than $400 million of early works packages at the four borough-based jails sites, and construction of a parking garage and community space began this summer at the Queens site.

Teams interested in participating in the program are encouraged to respond to the RFQ with Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) that will then be evaluated to create a shortlist for each new jail. The RFQ is expected to be issued in September.

Responses to the RFQ in the form of Statements of SOQs from highly qualified firms will be due in November. The shortlisted design-build teams will then have the exclusive opportunity to respond to a future Request for Proposals (RFP), one of which will be issued for each new jail. Future RFPs will then be released to shortlisted teams beginning in December and extending to the third quarter of 2022.

Responses to the RFPs will then be evaluated to select the design-build teams that will construct the four new facilities. The jails program overall remains fully funded and on track to deliver the four new facilities by 2027, in time to meet the deadline to close Rikers Island.

In selecting the design-build teams and carrying out a collaborative design-build approach to project delivery, DDC is committed to using industry best practices. DDC will utilize a best-value selection process that prioritizes design, quality, past performance and qualifications. DDC will make available stipends to short-listed firms that participate in the RFP process but are not selected to be awarded a design-build contract.

The city highly encourages participation in the jails program by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and will set significant requirements for M/WBE participation in the program’s design-build contracts. To learn more about how eligible firms can become certified as an M/WBE,  visit Certify With the City.

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