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Hempstead Village seeks RFPs for 2 projects

Hempstead Village has put out requests for proposals seeking qualified professionals or firms to run a local contracting center and a jobs and business referral center -- both in connection with the village's $2 billion downtown redevelopment project.

The centers are required to be created per a controversial community benefits agreement with the project's master developer Renaissance Downtowns/UrbanAmerica that was approved in January. The developer will contribute $140,000 a year for three years to fund each center. A portion of the $18.5 million in zoning fees expected to be collected over an eight-year period also will go toward funding the centers, Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said.

Interested individuals or firms have until the May 17 deadline to respond to one or both of the proposals to serve as consultants to the village for one year, with an option to renew for two additional one-year terms.

The proposal requirements include an annual budget estimate for fees, inclusive of salaries, rent and all other out-of-pocket costs. The selected consultants would have to establish and staff an office for the centers, and report to the village and to the oversight committee of the community benefits agreement.

The local contracting center consultant would maintain a database of targeted businesses and another with contracting opportunities. The jobs and business referral center consultant would develop a job training plan, establish a database of job seekers from the village, and maintain a database of construction projects and job needs.

"The person who is the most qualified would get selected, no matter where they are from," Hall said. "They have to have a proven track record of success in this field."

The project is expect to create 3,500 permanent and 10,000 construction jobs, village officials and the developers have said. The community benefits agreement requires the developers to make "good faith efforts" toward giving the first 25 percent of construction and permanent jobs to village residents, as well as 25 percent of contracts to local or minority contractors.

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