RFQ is First in Two-Step Process to Find Developers to Repurpose America’s Flagship
With all the buzz surrounding the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, it’s full steam ahead to give the greatest American ocean liner a new lease on life as a 21st Century waterfront destination. The SS United States Redevelopment Project (SSUSRP) is proud to announce the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as part of an aggressive process to identify a developer to repurpose America’s flagship and one of the most historic vessels afloat.
The SS United States, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its maiden voyage this year, remains the largest passenger vessel ever constructed in the United States. At nearly 1,000 feet long, she remains the fastest ocean liner to cross the North Atlantic and one of the last surviving of the great 20th Century liners.
The RFQ seeks to identify a developer to refurbish, transform and re-purpose the historic ship into a for-profit, self-sustaining, multi-purpose stationary waterfront attraction. “This is an invitation for private developers to get engaged in perhaps the most unique and exciting development project in the nation,” states Dan McSweeney, Managing Director of the SSUSRP. “As our nation’s flagship and a symbol of American innovation and engineering, this iconic vessel presents enormous opportunities to attract a whole new generation of users and visitors.”
The SS United States’ home port of New York as well as Miami have been identified as promising locations for the long-term docking of the ship, though other cities will be considered.
The SS United States project concept is currently for a mixed-use development that may include a variety of feasible uses for the ship’s more than 650,000 square feet of enclosed space including but not limited to hotel, restaurants, event space, retail, and educational facilities. Plans also include a museum and the restoration of the ship’s most iconic historic features.
Those interested in participating in the process will have 30 days to respond to the RFQ. After RFQ responses are reviewed, a limited number of Prequalified Proposers will then be invited to respond to a more detailed Request for Proposals (“RFP”). Finalists will then be selected to negotiate terms of an agreement for redevelopment of the ship at the selected location. A developer will be selected by the end of 2012, with the intent of siting the vessel in the selected city by summer 2013.
The SSUSRP is a strategic initiative of the SS United States Conservancy, the national nonprofit organization that purchased the historic vessel last year. The Conservancy is also advancing plans for public use, including a world-class museum and educational programs aboard the ship. "The SS United States is the most famous ocean liner that never sank, and a symbol of American pride, power and purpose,” said Susan L Gibbs, the Conservancy's executive director. “There’s only one SS United States. The RFQ and RFP process will help ensure that this great vessel continues to give future generations a glimpse into our past while serving our nation again as a new, modern and sustainable facility for millions to enjoy.”
The release of the RFQ comes on the heels of the SSUSRP’s announcement last week naming New Canaan Advisors LLC as real estate advisors to a growing team leading this exciting redevelopment program.