Motorway building proposal process clarified

ALAMOSA — After publishing a request for proposals to redevelop the Rio Grande Motorway Building, the Alamosa County Local Marketing District met with interested parties to go over what they want out of the process Thursday night. The meeting was the first step in picking a finalized plan, and proposals are due on or before June 14th at the Alamosa County Office. 

“There have been over the years a number of quality ideas brought forth about what to do with the structure,” said Alamosa County Marketing District Board member Matt Abbey. “For various reasons they hadn’t come to fruition so the board decided it was time to engage in a formal process that would trigger some action with respect to the structure.”

Abbey began the meeting by going through the RFP, which can be found at

Proposals will be graded on a series of prioritized criteria. For example, strength of the proposal and how it complements The Deport facility are high priority while economic impact is medium priority and having an exit strategy for a failed plan is considered a low priority.

“Those are there both for us as the board to use in order to evaluate the proposal and they’re also intended to help the proposer put together the best package,” Abbey said.

Since the building is in city limits, it is recommended that proposers communicate with city officials to fully understand the codes and required permits.

The RFP also includes a conflict of interest statement that board members will sign. The transparency is in order to avoid last year’s situation when Jeff Woodward resigned from the board after it appeared that the Early Iron Club was going to be freely awarded the building.

Leroy Martinez asked why the county doesn’t simply auction off the property.

Abbey said they would rather select a proposal that fits the district’s mission of economic development and tourism.

“Purchase price is a component, but this thing will be entirely awarded on the merits and strength of the proposal and the organization making the proposal,” said Abbey.

When Don Spencer asked if the building could be demolished, Abbey said that the marketing board ultimately doesn’t care as long as the property is turned into an asset.

“Bring your best plan forward,” Abbey said. “If that means you have to knock it down and build one like it, put it in your plan. The objective is the highest number of quality proposals and the best and consistent use of the property, with or without the building, in order to take it from what it is to what we frankly all know it could be.”

The marketing district is hosting a walk-through of the building, located adjacent to The Depot on Sixth Street, on March 29 at 1 p.m. Parties were not required to attend Thursday’s meeting and aren’t required to be at the walk-through either. All questions asked at both meetings will be published online so interested parties have the same access to information. Additionally, parties can email questions to [email protected]. Questions will not be accepted 14 days before the RFP closes.

A subcommittee, composed of Abbey, Cathy Simpson and Danielle Van Veghten, will meet in late June to assign scores based on the criteria and recommend a shortlist of three to five proposals to the full board for interviews based on what scores the highest. The board will then vote at their July board meeting.

At a subsequent Alamosa County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners will then hear the marketing district board’s recommendation and vote on it.

Afterwards, the marketing district board will then enter negotiations. At any time during the process the board reserves the right to cancel negotiations if it is not satisfied.

Caption: Rio Grande Motorway Building/Courtesy photo