Room 108 in the ESP Concourse.

Revised: Request for Information 22207 for Retail Vendor for Establishment at the Empire State Plaza

Revised: Request for Information 22207 for Retail Vendor for Establishment at the Empire State Plaza
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Overview

​​​​​​1.1 Solicitation

The New York State Office of General Services (OGS) is inviting qualified vendors (hereinafter referred to as “Proposer” or “Vendor”) to submit a proposal for a retail or service concept not currently being offered on the Main Concourse of the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY, as per the requirements detailed in this Request for Information (RFI). 

OGS’s goal is to provide the tenants, visitors and guests of the Empire State Plaza with a variety of unique and affordable services during the buildings’ hours of operation. The Concourse Level, the street-level Plaza and the surrounding grounds and buildings are maintained by OGS.  There is a NYS Police station centrally located on the Concourse Level.  Existing retail tenants include fast food restaurants, cafeterias, banks, two (2) U.S. Post Offices, a dry cleaner, a beauty salon, a barbershop, a shoe-shine stand, a full-service fitness facility, a jewelry repair shop and various newsstands.

Parties interested in providing a service currently unavailable at this location are encouraged to respond to this RFI.  It is anticipated that interested parties will tour the facility prior to the submission of a proposal.  OGS encourages interested parties to submit creative and innovative ideas, themes, and design examples.  No food and beverage concepts will be accepted at this time.  Capital Improvements will be at the expense of the Vendor unless otherwise negotiated.   

1.2 Objective

To enter into agreements with a retail vendor:

  • with a minimum of five years of successful experience in the ownership and management of comparable retail establishments;
  • that will ensure that the employees and visitors will consistently receive a variety of high-quality offerings and excellent customer service; and
  • that will operate the venue in the best interest of New York State. 

It is anticipated that a lease will be executed in the fourth (4th) quarter of 2021.  The term of the lease shall be three (3) years unless otherwise negotiated.

1.3 New York State Office of General Services

OGS manages and leases real property, designs and builds facilities, contracts for goods, services, and technology, and delivers a wide array of support services.  We provide government and nonprofit agencies with innovative solutions, integrated service, and best value, in support of cost-effective operations and responsible public stewardship.

Retail Operations

OGS is requesting proposals from retail vendors offering a concept which complements the current services and offerings at the Empire State Plaza in the following location:  

Empire State Plaza – Room 108

The available retail location’s storefront is set directly on the Main Concourse of the Empire State Plaza and is centrally located to the Convention Hall, Meeting Rooms and Performing Arts Center, as well our many food establishments.  Throughout the year Special Events, Craft Fairs and Farmer’s Markets are held along the Concourse, attracting many visitors to the Plaza.  Several office buildings surround the Plaza which house approximately 13,000 tenants.  It is anchored on the north end by The New York State Capitol and Legislative Office buildings, which increase the daily population by at least 5,000 during Legislative Session; and on the south side by the New York State Museum, averaging 750,000 visitors annually. 

The location’s current floor plan includes an open lobby/reception area with an adjacent Conference Room, two (2) offices, a kitchenette and restroom.  A floor plan is attached as Exhibit A. 

Room 108 in the ESP Concourse.
Room 108, Concourse, Empire State Plaza

Agreement Requirements

3.1 Rent

The rent structure shall be a base rent in equal monthly installments, pursuant to a negotiated amount per annum.

3.2 Utilities

OGS will provide the Vendor with conditioned airflow to provide suitable and comfortable levels of heating, air conditioning and ventilation pursuant to the standards adopted by OGS; hot and cold water, of the character furnished by the municipality or utility company supplying the same, in reasonable quantities for use by the Vendor solely for sanitary purposes associated with the ordinary needs of operation; electric service distribution equipment, lighting fixtures, and electric service of sufficient amount and quality for proper lighting of said premises and for the operation of Vendor occupancy including, in addition to normal building requirements, electrical services for office equipment, POS systems and equipment from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (hereinafter referred to as the “Regular Business Hours”).  Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Vendor shall require electric, heating, ventilating or air conditioning service from any building systems at times other than during Regular Business Hours (hereafter, “After Hours Service”), OGS shall furnish such After Hours Service upon reasonable advance notice (no less than 24 hours) from the Vendor, and the Vendor shall pay, as additional rent, OGS’s then-standard charges therefor, except when After Hours Service is provided at the request of OGS.   

3.3 Capital Improvements

The Vendor is responsible for all costs associated with customizing its store, providing all equipment and installation.  It is OGS’s expectation that the proposed Vendor will customize store front signage reflecting its branding theme, unless otherwise negotiated. 

3.4 Hours of Operation

The hours of operation will be at a minimum of 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Adjustments to increase the current hours shall be mutually agreed upon by the Vendor and OGS; however, in the event of a conflict, the decision of OGS shall be final and binding on the Vendor.  With the exception of State legal holidays when the State office buildings are closed, it is anticipated that the retail establishment will operate daily during the specified hours of operation.  Vendors shall provide alternate staffing plans that will ensure the operation is open the minimum days/hours of operation.  The 2021 calendar of State legal holidays can be found at http://www.cs.ny.gov/attendance_leave/index.cfm.

3.5 Purchasing

The Vendor at its own expense shall make all purchases in compliance with all local, State and federal regulations as well as accepted industry standards regarding safety and sanitation.  The Vendor shall retain ownership of the inventory, at its own cost, of all products purchased for use within the operation. 

3.6 Marketing

The Vendor is responsible for marketing its products and services to employees and visitors of the State office buildings.  All marketing, including materials, must be pre-approved by OGS.

3.7 Signage

Except with the prior written consent of the State, the Vendor shall not erect, maintain or display any signs, advertising, posters or similar devices at or on the exterior parts of the Premises.  Upon the expiration or termination of any contract resulting from this solicitation, the Vendor shall remove, obliterate or paint out, any signs, advertising, posters or similar devices, and shall restore the area affected to the same condition as of the commencement date of any contract resulting from this solicitation. 

3.8 Operational Services

The Vendor will be responsible for providing all labor, signage, supplies and any equipment, materials or services needed to successfully operate its business. 

3.9 Operating Responsibility

The Vendor will be responsible for the management, operation and daily maintenance of the retail operation.  The Vendor must supply staff in sufficient numbers as to ensure the tenants and visitors will consistently receive quality and timely service.

3.10 Licenses

The Vendor shall obtain all permits and licenses as required by federal, State and local authorities having jurisdiction over the retail operation and adhere to all requirements.

3.11 Reasonable Care

The Vendor shall adequately protect the premises and property under its care, including, but not limited to, facilities and equipment provided to the Vendor by OGS and adjacent property, and shall also adequately protect the staff, employees and visitors of the State office buildings.  The Vendor shall comply with all statutory requirements regarding safety practices.  The Vendor shall also follow directions from authorized OGS representatives for additional precautions that conform to OGS practices and procedures.  The Vendor shall, at its expense, take all precautions to prevent fire or damage from occurring in or about the premises, and shall observe and comply with all laws and regulations in force regarding the premises and its operations therein, and with all instructions given by OGS.

All retail management, supervisory or hourly personnel assigned by the Vendor to work at the operation shall be employees of the Vendor and will not, for any purpose, be considered employees of OGS.

The Vendor shall be responsible for the supervision and direction of the work performed by its employees and shall, at all times, provide sufficient supervision at the retail operation to carry out this responsibility.

The Vendor will comply with all federal, State and local Workers’ Compensation and Disability laws. 

RFI Proposal

Proposals must be concise, well organized and demonstrate an understanding of the retail opportunity at the Empire State Plaza and the services being proposed.  Brochures and advertisements will not be accepted as a substitute for submitting a complete proposal, as required.  OGS assumes no obligation in the solicitation of proposals.  Costs of responding to this Request for Information shall be borne by interested Proposers.

A qualified proposal must address and include all the criteria listed below.  Proposals will be evaluated based upon the information submitted in accordance with the Method of Award Section (Section 6) of this Request for Information.

4.1 Content

Proposers must submit four (4) hard copies, with original signatures, of their proposal.  The proposals must be well organized and include content headings as identified in the RFI.  In order to be considered for award, proposals must include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Executive Summary – Provide a 1-2 page summary of highlights of the key elements of the proposal for operation of a retail operation at the Empire State Plaza.

B. Contact Information – Full contact information of the primary contact person and key person(s) involved in the business, including employment history, role in the business and the provision of services.

C. Employment/Business Experience Provide a detailed description of the last five (5) years of related business experience of the key personnel involved in the ownership, management and daily operation of the proposed retail operation.

All proposers must disclose all prior bankruptcies and/or business closures within the last ten (10) years. 

D. Concept Describe in detail the concept and operational plan (including staffing, marketing plan, efforts to ensure customer satisfaction) for the proposed retail operation.  The description should also include sample offerings with pricing, operational policies, practices and hours of operation, and equipment needs.

E. Capital Investment – Submit description of capital investment to be made, including a design proposal for capital improvements to the space, along with estimated cost of the improvements.

F. References – Provide the contact information of a minimum of five (5) business references and two (2) of the most recent landlords of property leased for business operations.

G. Forms – The following forms and documents must be completed and submitted with your proposals.

  1. Completed Retail Disclosure Sheet found in Exhibit C;
  2. OGS Contractor/Vendor Obligations Under State Finance Law Sections 139-J and 139-K Form found in Exhibit D;
  3. Completed Substitute W-9 Form found in Exhibit E.

Site Visit

Parties interested in submitting a response to this RFI are required to attend a mandatory site visit of the facility’s physical layout and a tour of the retail operation.  The site visit date is scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

There will be an opportunity at the site visit for prospective proposers to ask questions. 

All attendees should arrive at the facility at least fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time.  All attendees must provide proper identification, such as a Driver’s License.

To register for the site visit, contact:

Jose Correa

New York State Office of General Services
Bureau of Commercial Lease Management
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Corning Tower, 40th Floor   
Albany, New York 12242

Phone:  518-474-1606

Method of Award

Award shall be made to a responsive and responsible Proposer who offers the best concept to meet the needs of the employees and visitors of the State office buildings.

Upon determination of a responsible retail vendor, an agreement will be negotiated, executed and delivered to the Proposer.  The agreement will define all deliverables.  Costs and the responsibilities of the parties will be developed based upon the State’s boilerplate agreement and the Proposer’s response to this Request for Information.  Unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary, all language in the boilerplate agreements will be used as written.  Parties interested in submitting a proposal should familiarize themselves with all agreement language and make known their concerns upon submission of the RFI proposal.  The OGS Retail Lease Boilerplate is attached hereto as Exhibit B­. 

OGS reserves the right to award part, all or none of this Request for Information in its sole discretion.

Proposal Delivery

Proposals must be submitted in an envelope and/or package clearly marked, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION SOLICITED BY THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF GENERAL SERVICES FOR RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES AT THE EMPIRE STATE PLAZA IN ALBANY, NEW YORK RESPONSE ENCLOSED

Four (4) hardcopies of the proposal must be submitted no later than Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. to:

Jose Correa

New York State Office of General Services
Bureau of Commercial Lease Management
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

Corning Tower, 40th Floor   
Albany, New York 12242

Phone:  518-474-1606

Proposers assume all risks for timely, properly submitted deliveries. Proposers are strongly encouraged to arrange for delivery of proposals to OGS prior to the date of submission. LATE PROPOSALS may be rejected. For proposals delivered by hand, proposers must allow extra time to comply with the security procedures in effect at the Empire State Plaza when hand-delivering proposals or using deliveries by independent courier services. 

FAX and E-mail transmittals of proposals are NOT acceptable and will not be considered. 

General Requirements

8.1 Procurement Lobbying Requirement

The Commissioner of the Office of General Services, at her sole discretion, may reject any or all submissions.  New York State Finance Law §§139-j and 139-k impose certain restrictions on communications between Proposer(s) and the State during the procurement process.  Proposer(s) are restricted from making contact to other-than-designated staff (Kristi Geddis, Director, Lease Management; Ashley Peppin; Jose Correa; Nicholas Moody; Leigh Brown; and the OGS Office of Business Diversity ([email protected]) - Lori Brodhead; Mariam Mehanna; Joshua Quiles; Alice Roberson; and Tryphina Ramsey) from the date of the issuance of this Web notification through final award and approval of the lease by the Office of the State Comptroller (the "Restricted Period"). The above-designated staff may be reached at 518-474-1606.

8.2 Procurement Lobbying Law Termination

OGS reserves the right to terminate any agreement resulting from this Request for Information in the event it is found that the certification filed by the Proposer in accordance with New York State Finance Law §139-k was intentionally false or intentionally incomplete. Upon such finding, OGS may exercise its termination right by providing written notification to the Proposer in accordance with the written notification terms of the agreement.

8.3 Iran Divestment Act

By submitting an offer to lease in response to this solicitation or by assuming the responsibility of a lease awarded hereunder, the proposer(s) certifies in accordance with State Finance Law §165-a:  (i) that it is not on the “Entities Determined to be Non-Responsive Bidders/Offerors pursuant to the New York State Iran Divestment Act of 2012” (the “Prohibited Entities List”) posted at https://ogs.ny.gov/list-entities-determined-be-non-responsive-biddersofferers-pursuant-nys-iran-divestment-act-2012; and (ii) that, in the performance of the lease, it will not use any subcontractor that is identified on the Prohibited Entities List.

8.4 Procurement Rights

The State of New York reserves the right to:

  • Reject any and all responses received in response to this Request for Information.
  • Disqualify a respondent from receiving the award if the Proposer, or anyone in the Proposer's employ, has previously failed to perform satisfactorily in connection with public bidding or contracts.
  • Correct Proposer’s mathematical errors and waive or modify other minor irregularities in responses received, after prior notification to the Proposer.
  • Adjust any Proposer's expected costs of the response based on a determination of the evaluation committee that the selection of the said Proposer will cause the State to incur additional costs.
  • Utilize any and all ideas submitted in the responses received.
  • Negotiate with Proposer responding to this RFI within the Request for Information requirements to serve the best interests of the State.
  • Begin negotiations with another Proposer in order to serve the best interests of the State of New York, should the State of New York be unsuccessful in negotiating an agreement with the selected Proposer, within 21 days of selection notification.
  • Waive any non-material requirement not met by all Proposers.
  • Not make an award from this Request for Information.
  • Make an award under this Request for Information in whole or in part.
  • Make multiple awards pursuant to this Request for Information.
  • Have any service completed via separate competitive bid or other means, as determined to be in the best interest of the State.
  • Seek clarifications of proposals.
  • If two or more offers are found to be substantially equivalent, the Commissioner of OGS, at her sole discretion, will determine award using established criteria.

Note: The State is not liable for any cost incurred by a Proposer in the preparation and production of a proposal or for any work performed prior to the issuance of an agreement.

8.5 Green Lease Requirements

The Office of General Services supports the State of New York in its policies of conserving, improving and protecting natural resources and the environment; preventing water, air and land pollution; and enhancing the health, safety and welfare of State residents and their overall economic and social well-being by incorporating the provisions of Executive Order 4 into State leases and promoting sustainable building practices and environmental stewardship.

Executive Order 4

Executive Order 4 directs State entities to green their procurements including janitorial cleaning supplies and equipment, janitorial paper and paper supplies, and also to implement sustainability initiatives including source separating recycling practices. The Order contains an annual reporting requirement. Vendors will be requested to assist OGS in fulfilling the directives of the Order with respect to the purchase of "green cleaning" products and paper products and to assist with the completion of the solid waste management section of the annual report.

Submissions should include a description of any assistance to be provided by the Proposer to OGS to aid in the generation of an annual waste stream audit as mandated under Executive Order 4, including any costs to OGS.  The reporting information will include the quantity and the unit of measure, i.e. tons, cubic yards, gallons, units, etc., for all solid waste and source-separated materials generated by the occupying agency on an annual basis, as well as any special wastes disposed or recycled such as fluorescent light bulbs, tires, or mercury-containing equipment.

8.6 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Development

Article 17-B of the New York State Executive Law provides for more meaningful participation in public procurement by certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (“SDVOBs”), thereby further integrating such businesses into New York State’s economy. OGS recognizes the need to promote the employment of service-disabled veterans and to ensure that certified SDVOBs have opportunities for maximum feasible participation in the performance of OGS’s contracts.

In recognition of the service and sacrifices made by service-disabled veterans and in recognition of the economic activity such businesses offer in New York State, landlords are strongly encouraged and expected to consider SDVOBs in the fulfillment of the requirements of this Lease. Such participation may be as subcontractors or suppliers, as protégés, or in other partnering or supporting roles.

8.7 Freedom of Information Law / Trade Secrets

During the evaluation process, the content of each offer will be held in confidence and details of any offer will not be revealed (except as may be required under the Freedom of Information Law or other State law).  The Freedom of Information Law provides for an exemption from disclosure for trade secrets or information the disclosure of which would cause injury to the competitive position of commercial enterprises.  This exception would be effective both during and after the evaluation process.

SHOULD YOU FEEL YOUR FIRM‘S OFFER CONTAINS ANY SUCH TRADE SECRETS OR OTHER CONFIDENTIAL OR PROPRIETARY INFORMATION, YOU MUST SUBMIT A REQUEST TO EXCEPT SUCH INFORMATION FROM DISCLOSURE.  SUCH REQUEST MUST BE IN WRITING, MUST STATE THE REASONS WHY THE INFORMATION SHOULD BE EXCEPTED FROM DISCLOSURE AND MUST BE PROVIDED AT THE TIME OF SUBMISSION OF THE SUBJECT INFORMATION.  REQUESTS FOR EXEMPTION OF THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF AN OFFER FROM DISCLOSURE HAVE GENERALLY NOT BEEN FOUND TO BE MERITORIOUS AND ARE DISCOURAGED.  KINDLY LIMIT ANY REQUESTS FOR EXEMPTION OF INFORMATION FROM DISCLOSURE TO BONA FIDE TRADE SECRETS OR SPECIFIC INFORMATION, THE DISCLOSURE OF WHICH WOULD CAUSE A SUBSTANTIAL INJURY TO THE COMPETITIVE POSITION OF YOUR FIRM.

8.8 Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Article 15-A of the New York State Executive Law provides for more meaningful participation in public procurement by certified Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses (“M/WBEs”), thereby further integrating such businesses into New York State’s economy. OGS encourages the participation of minorities and women in its procurement and building construction projects. Per Executive Law, Article 15-A, certain contracts contain affirmative action requirements for the use of certified MWBEs as subcontractors and suppliers. 

For purposes of this Request for Information, OGS conducted a comprehensive search and determined that the Lease does not offer sufficient opportunities to set goals for participation by MWBEs as subcontractors, service providers, or suppliers to the Tenant.  The Tenant is, however, encouraged to make every good faith effort to promote and assist the participation of MWBEs on this Lease for the provision of services and materials.  The directory of New York State Certified MWBEs can be viewed at:  https://ny.newnycontracts.com/FrontEnd/SearchCertifiedDirectory.asp. Additionally, following execution of the Lease, the Tenant is encouraged to contact the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development ((518) 292-5250; (212) 803-2414; or (716) 846-8200) to discuss additional methods of maximizing participation by MWBEs on the Lease.

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