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Waterfront design competition teams announced

by BEAUX WHITE EAGLE
Staff Writer | April 7, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The city has announced the three teams that are moving on to the second phase of its waterfront design competition.

Selected for the second phase are: First Forty Feet with Greenworks, Fehr & Peers, Century West Engineering, and North Root Architecture; GGLO + Bernardo Wills with Welch Comer, Greg Moller, Erin Blue, and Sarah Thompson Moore; and Skylab with PLACE, KPFF, PAE & LUMA, Brightworks, and ECONorthwest.

The community will have a chance to meet the teams at two community involvement events, including “Meet Your Designer Night” on Wednesday, April 12. The event will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Sandpoint City Hall council chambers.

The teams will each give a brief presentation to introduce themselves, describe their approach to design, and show examples of their work.

In January the community got its first looks at the waterfront design competition at a City Council special meeting. Held to review the parameters and details of the official competition manual. Covering everything from requirements to a complete timeline breakdown, the manual presented by City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton and city consultant Don Stantsy was revised slightly according to council recommendation before the competition officially began in February.

“The design competition is to move forward the concepts for the city-owned property of the downtown waterfront as well as City Beach and to develop a master plan vision for downtown Sandpoint and how it interfaces with the waterfront,” Stapleton said. “It's a best practice for cities to develop a downtown master plan because it really sets out what the community vision is for downtown.”

Created to help the city comprise multiple working master plans for the downtown area into one master document, Stapleton said at the Jan. 11 meeting the competition provides an opportunity to gain a new design perspective on how the properties should be handled, with an emphasis on its waterfront area and City Beach.

“The purpose of this process is really to bring in design team experts that have experts in stormwater management, which is the reason we purchased the Farmin’s Landing property,” Stapleton said at the time. “Also expertise in arts and culture, historic preservation, master planning, economic development, engineering, to lay out their visions after looking at all of our plans, and how those come together and bringing their expertise in those areas for the community to respond to, as well as a jury of technical experts to respond from and provide a technical review.”

The competition is done in three phases. Stage 1 began with an open call out to potential design teams, who were required to submit portfolios based on the criteria outlined in the manual. The eight teams who heard the call had their portfolios checked for compliance, by a group of residents and industry experts who select the design teams that are moving on to the second stage.

The three teams selected for the second phase are expected to work on design concepts that will be checked for compliance by a technical advisory group comprised of city staff.

From this event, the judges comprised of city staff and industry experts are expecting to gain input from the community which they will use in making the final decision before the final team is selected to move on to meet with the advisory group in stage three and refine its proposal, based on input from the community, jury, and advisory team. Final design concepts are due shortly after and presented to the jury. Again the jury will evaluate the plan and make a recommendation to Sandpoint officials for a report to be provided to Council.

In addition to announcing the three teams being sent on to the second phase of the competition, the city also announced an open house event on April 27 for both its comprehensive plan update and multimodal plan. The event will be held both online and in person from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at the Sandpoint Library. The city is in the process of finalizing the draft for the comprehensive plan and is seeking community input. The final draft is available online and comments will be accepted until May 6.

As for the multimodal plan adopted in 2021, the city is considering amending Fig. 23, which refers to the long-term decisions of the east-west connection. The multimodal master plan can be reviewed in its current state online with the date set for May 3 when the council will discuss a proposed amendment to the plan.