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Request for Qualifications: Schenley Heights Production Homes

General Information & Goals }



As the nonprofit housing development subsidiary of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) is charged with the creation of housing in underserved neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh.  The Schenley Heights Collaborative (SHC) is the community organization and advocate for Pittsburgh’s Schenley Heights (i.e. Upper Hill) neighborhood.  Over the past few years, PHDC and SHC have been working closely together to develop a long-term strategy for providing new, quality, for-sale housing options throughout the Schenley Heights community. 

To help make this housing strategy a reality, PHDC and SHC are seeking to qualify a builder-developer for a new six-unit, single family market-rate, for-sale residential development in Schenley Heights.  The development site consists of six City of Pittsburgh parcels that are specifically located at 907, 913, and 917 Anaheim Street and 912, 916, and 918 Bryn Mawr Road.  The SHC owns all six properties, and PHDC is slated to begin work in the next two months to prepare the sites as buildable lots for the new homes.

Since this development will represent the initial phase in a larger housing strategy, the ideal builder-developer should have the following qualities:

  • A willingness to prove the production home model (i.e. construction on buildable lots once a buyer has been identified) is feasible within an urban setting, using minimal subsidy from the URA;
  • The capacity to finance a model home and provide marketing and sales support for finished homes; and
  • The dedication and wherewithal to establish a long-term relationship with PHDC and SHC for future development in the neighborhood.

Quick Stats }

RQP Issued:             Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Proposals Due:        Monday, March 11, 2013 by 3:00 p.m. EST

Neighborhood:               Schenley Heights (Upper Hill) 

Council District:             6

Councilperson:              R. Daniel Lavelle

Addresses:                     907, 913 & 917 Anaheim Street / 912, 916 & 918 Bryn Mawr Road

Lot and Block Nos:        27-B-119 






Primary Contact:           David Howe; 412-255-6629;


Project Description  }

The proposed development model for the Schenley Heights Production homes seeks to mirror a process similar to that used by traditional suburban homebuilders.  Under this model, a larger development site is prepared to accommodate a certain number of homes, with the builder-developer constructing a model home and then building additional homes as prepared, buildable lots are sold to homeowners.

In order to make this model successful in an urban context, this development will need to be a joint effort between the SHC, PHDC and the selected builder-developer.  The roles of each entity are outlined below; however, PHDC is also willing to consider alternate development scenarios, if such scenarios are in the best interest of both PHDC and the community.  Developers are welcome to propose such scenarios in their proposals.


SHC will hold the properties and provide certain support services to PHDC and the builder-developer.  These support services include community outreach and distribution of sales and marketing materials to local residents and interested buyers.  As the neighborhood organization, SHC will also work closely with the selected builder-developer to ensure that the new homes fit within the neighborhood context and the community’s vision and larger planning goals.


PHDC will provide site assembly services and site preparation work.  These services will include assembling property, preparing and recording the subdivision plan, obtaining approvals from local community, City of Pittsburgh Zoning and Planning departments, and site preparation work required to provide “buildable” lots to the builder-developer.  PHDC and SHC intend to sell each parcel at the construction closings, for an amount to be determined.  As public funds are being used to help underwrite the site preparation, PHDC will use an appropriate mechanism to ensure its interests in each property until the respective home is completed and/or sold to a qualified buyer.


The builder-developer shall be responsible for the complete design and construction of the units; all final grading, landscaping and site improvements; financing and building a model home; obtaining necessary approvals from local community, City of Pittsburgh Zoning and Planning departments for the construction and sale of the homes; obtaining all permits necessary for the construction and sale of the houses; and all marketing and sales of the units.

Proposal Requirements }

PHDC is seeking firms that have experience with the design, construction, and completion of projects similar to that described above.

The proposal shall include the following:

  1. Relevant Development Experience
  1. Brief description of similar projects (date, location, concept);
  2. Photographs of projects;
  3. Description and role of the submitting firm;
  4. References - strong references include banks, municipal entities, co-developers, homebuyers, and press clippings that include project narratives to describe previous work; and
  5. Brief description of community engagement in previous projects.
  1. Organizational and Financial Capacity
  1. Description of the organizational capacity and workload of the submitting firm and evidence of your ability to deliver the project;
  2. Detailed description of your ability to finance the costs associated with the project;    
  3. List of key staff, their experience, and what their roles and responsibilities would be in delivering the completed project; and
  4. List of key sub-contractors and consultants to be used on this project. Include the experience of these proposed sub-contractors and consultants with similar projects and what their roles and responsibilities would be in delivering the completed project.

PHDC and SHC will work with the selected firm to refine the design and specifications to meet specific project needs and goals. Please contact David Howe, manager of PHDC, at 412-255-6629 or at with questions regarding this Request for Qualifications.

Selection Process }

A builder-developer may be selected based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  1. Builder-developer’s experience completing similar successful development projects in an existing urban neighborhood;
  2. Demonstration of ability to attract financing (i.e. construction bridge financing, tax equity, permanent financing, etc);
  3. Experience and ability to assemble a team with the appropriate specialties for this project;
  4. Experience with and commitment to community engagement in projects;
  5. Commitment to Green Building standards; and
  6. Commitment to Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise participation.

After consultation with SHC, a builder-developer will be recommended to PHDC’s Board of Directors based on the overall quality of the proposed project.  The evaluation of the builder-developer’s qualifications, experience, and capacity will be based upon information in the Proposal submitted, interviews, investigation of projects completed by the builder-developer, assessment of their performance in previous undertakings, and other pertinent factors.  PHDC’s Board will then have final approval of any builder-developer, sales price, and any additional conditions of development.

PHDC reserves the right to determine which respondents have met the basic requirements of the Request for Qualifications.  In addition, and notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, PHDC may at its sole discretion reject, in whole or in part, any and all proposals, waive irregularities in proposals, allow a respondent to correct irregularities, and negotiate with one or more respondents in any matter deemed necessary to serve the interest of PHDC and/or SHC.  PHDC reserves the right to cancel the Request for Qualifications at any time.

Proposal Submission }

The proposal may be submitted digitally to David Howe, manager of PHDC, at


Three (3) hard copies of the proposal may be submitted to the offices of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh at the following address:

David Howe


Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation

200 Ross Street, 10th Floor

Pittsburgh, PA  15219


No later than 3:00 p.m. EST on March 11, 2013.  Hard copies of proposals will not be returned.


Legal Information }

PHDC shall have the right to verify the accuracy of all information submitted and to make such investigation, as it deems necessary, to determine the ability of a prospective builder-developer to perform the obligations in the response.  PHDC reserves the right to reject any response where the available evidence or information does not satisfy PHDC that the prospective builder-developer is qualified to carry out properly the obligations of the response, is a person or firm of good reputation or character for strict, complete and faithful performance of business obligations, or if the prospective builder-developer refuses to cooperate with and assist the owners in the making of such investigation.


  1. Inspection of Parcel:  Builder-developers shall be given an opportunity to inspect the parcel and the title to the parcel, among other things.  If the builder-developer is selected and elects to proceed after exercising its due diligence, it shall acquire or take possession of the parcel(s) in “as is” condition.


  1. Building Permits, Zoning Variances and Financial Viability:  The sale of the property in no way guarantees or warrants building permits, zoning variances or financial viability. 


  1. Discretion, Non-Liability:  Developer acknowledges by submitting information and proposals to PHDC that PHDC does      not undertake and shall have no liability with respect to the development program, the Request for Qualifications, and responses thereto or with respect to any matters related to any submission by a builder-developer. 


  1. Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Requirements:  All builder-developers must demonstrate a  good faith effort to obtain minority and women owned business participation in the development.  PHDC’s goal is 25   percent (25%) minority and 10 percent (10%) female participation in predevelopment activities such as design or legal as well as construction contracts and purchases.  The successful applicant will be required to submit a proposed M/WBE plan as part of the project approval process.  Any questions about M/WBE requirements should be directed to Chuck Powell, director of Diversity Affairs and Community Outreach, at (412) 255-6611 or


  1. The builder-developer, its employees, contractors, and primary subcontractors will not discriminate against or segregate any person or group of persons on any unlawful basis in the construction, sale, transfer, use, occupancy, tenure or enjoyment of the property or any improvements erected or to be erected thereon, or any part thereof.


  1. Each respondent will execute a Debarment Affidavit (Attachment B) affirming that all members of the responding team are not prohibited from entering a bid or participating in a City of Pittsburgh contract by reason of disqualifications as set forth at Pittsburgh Code Section 161.22 (b).


  1. Responses to the Request for Qualifications will not be opened publicly.


  1. Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice received by PHDC before the time and date set for receipt of offers. After the submission date, a Proposal may not be withdrawn for a period of sixty days, except by mutual consent of PHDC and respondent.


  1. Mistakes:

Prior to submission date

A respondent may correct mistakes discovered before the time set from receipt of offers by withdrawing the original offer and resubmitting a new offer before the date set for the receipt of offers.


After submission date

Mistakes may not be corrected after the submission date except when PHDC decides, at its sole discretion, to allow the mistake to be corrected.


  1. To ensure receipt of any addenda to the Request for Qualifications, please email David Howe, manager of PHDC, for inclusion on the list at

Attachments  }

Attachment A:  Schenley Heights Production Homes Site Location Map

Attachment B:  Debarment Affidavit