ADDENDUM # 5: RFP for Loews Jersey Theatre
Date of Addendum: 8/21/2020
NOTICE TO ALL POTENTIAL RESPONDENTS
The Request for Proposals for the Redevelopment of the Loew’s Jersey Theatre posted by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (the “JCRA”) on June 11, 2020 (the “RFP”) is modified as set forth in this Addendum. The RFP and any previously issued addenda remain in full force and effect, except as modified by this Addendum, which is hereby made part of the RFP. Respondent shall take this Addendum into consideration when preparing and submitting its Proposal.
I. FRIENDS OF THE LOEWS SITE TOUR SUMMARY
The RFP is amended and supplemented by the attached summary prepared by the Friends of the Loew’s (“FOL”), produced as a result of the several site-visits and walk-throughs held with interested Respondents. See Exhibit A.
II. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The RFP is amended and supplemented by the following answers, certain answers having been prepared by the FOL, as applicable, and provided as informational responses to questions raised about the RFP.
1. Will the future awarded operator of the theatre have the opportunity to obtain liquor licenses for operation?
ANSWER: Yes, subject to all applicable state and local liquor license laws and regulations.
2. Are there labor requirements? Local hiring requirements?
ANSWER: See RFP, Section VIII, Redevelopment Agreement, Paragraphs 15 and 16. Respondents are also directed to Section 304-33 of the Jersey City Municipal Code.
3. Does the City have an existing labor contract for operating the theatre?
ANSWER: No, but the City is supportive of and encourages union labor for future operations. See also, Answer to Question 32.
4. When will the results of the RFP be made public?
ANSWER: The results will be made public after a thorough review and deliberation process of the proposals received. Proposals will not be made public during the deliberative process.
5. Property Condition. FOL has mentioned many repairs that it has conducted on their website (over $1M). Is there a job log and details on all of these repairs?
ANSWER: Formal logs of FOL’s work have not been kept. To give some perspective, when FOL began working, the Loew’s was an aged physical plant that had suffered from deferred maintenance for years and then was an essentially abandoned building without heat, ventilation or maintenance for most of a decade after being closed in 1986 in preparation for demolition. The Theatre had also been dramatically altered in how it was configured to operate when it was divided up into a tri-plex in 1973-74; moreover, it had not presented a live performance since then, meaning virtually all of its capabilities to do so were in serious disrepair. Following is a list of what work was done by contractors paid with grant or government funding:
Installation of new steam boiler, condensate pumps and related controls, new electric service, new sewer ejector and reconnection of domestic water service
Exterior masonry restoration – included partial repointing, repair of damaged terra cotta with some replacement by cast stone, replacement of lintels, creation of control joints, repair of damage form rust jacking, reconstruction of clock cupola- and installation of new EPDM roof
Replacement of side exterior egress doors on the first floor
Restoration of original entrance doors
Repair of cracked wall in, and installation of new roof in former retail annex
Reactivation of extant standpipes as a dry system; installation of new inverter
Everything else that was needed to reopen the Loew’s, make it at least minimally functional, and maintain it has been done by FOL. Here’s a list showing highlights of that work (though there may be some additional discrete projects, or elements of larger ones not included below):
Demolition of the non-original partition walls built to convert the auditorium into a tri-plex.
Recasting of concrete floor risers demolished and removed for the tri-plex
Partial reconstruction and adaptation of former tri-plex projection room
Reopening of center aisle doorway
Reconstruction of floor at center aisle doorway
Stabilization of ceiling ornamentation damaged due to tri-plex alteration
Removal of literal dumpster loads of refuse from throughout the building
Cleaning of selected surfaces of throughout
Removal of worn/infested carpeting, resilient tiles, etc. from floors throughout
Demotion of old concession counters, false walls, etc.
Restoration of original colors of auditorium walls under the balcony
Restoration of balcony rail face from damage due to tri-plex alteration
Repair of non-functioning lighting circuits (apprx. 80% of total throughout)
Replacement of, and additions to exterior lighting
Inspection, repair, complete cleaning, and crystal re-stringing of lobby chandelier and hanging pendant fixtures in auditorium
Installation of interim replacement lighting fixtures for missing originals throughout
Installation of replacement EXIT signs
Installation of battery pack E light units in public spaces
Upgrade of lighting in mechanical rooms
Fabrication and installation of interim replacement grills in outer lobby
Gut and renovation to utility finish of first level dressing room hallway and six dressing rooms, including installation of two new showers and a local hot water supply
Removal of multiple layers of paint (up to 1/4″thickness) from marble stalls and surviving original ceramic tile walls in public restrooms
New lighting in public restrooms
Fabrication and installation of new stall doors and hardware in public restrooms
Rebuilding / replacement of all flushometer-type valves in the public and staff restrooms
Replacement of drain/sewer lines serving ladies room toilets, men’s room urinals, dressing room restroom sink an urinals and service corridor sink
Replacement of all toilets in the public restrooms
Construction of first floor ADA restroom
Installation of new 3″ copper water supply line to dressing room area
Rebuilding of hose cabinet valves
Replacement of damaged section of six inch sewer line to sewer ejector in subbasement
Replacement of roof drain pipe in attic
Replacement of 95% of steam traps throughout
Replacement of 80% of radiator valves throughout
Replacement of all radiators in subbasement dressing rooms
Replacement of damaged sections of steam and condensate piping throughout
Installation of new (did not exist before) steam and condensate piping, radiators and valves to provide heat to previously unheated organ chambers.
Fabrication and installation of filter rack for main (pre) steam heat coils
Reactivation of return air booster fan
Restoration of marquee
Removal of significant pigeon infestations and subsequent cleaning/sterilizing of multiple areas in the building
Complete rebuilding (in terms of equipment and also wall/ceiling surfaces) of original projection booth
Replacement of movie screen
Reactivation of stage rigging: cleaning, lubrication, cable replacement as needed
Stabilization and partial replacement of original pelmet
Restoration of original orchestra pit lift after 50 year dormancy/abandonment
Repair/reconstruction of organ lift rails
Installation of two Strand racks with a total of 192 channels for modern control and dimming of stage lighting
Reconnection of existing stage lighting circuits to new dimmers
Provision of separate fused disconnects for Strand dimmer racks and for “company switch” tie-in for PD to additional equipment
Overhaul of existing stage lighting circuits in balcony rail
Installation of motorized traveler curtain
Installation of modular analogue and digital audio snakes for in-house and rental use
Installation of permanent on-stage patch-panels for audio snakes
Creation of permanent FOH tech position for lighting and audio control and show calling
Acquisition and installation of house audio mixing board and lighting interface
Provision of dedicated audio power supply on stage and at tech position
Installation of WiFi access throughout
Restoration of original auditorium seating on orchestra (first) floor
Provision of interim replacement seating for portion of orchestra (first) floor
Restoration of original seating in balcony (ongoing)
Restoration of balcony balustrades (ongoing)
Creation of office space
Provision of masonry openings, including lintels, for doorway and ticket window between outer lobby and former retail space
Initial major cleaning/re-polishing of badly tarnished brass/bronze entrance, with periodic re-polishing and clear-coating (ongoing)
Installation in select areas inside and out of security cameras linked to an NVR
If the question is what of FOL’s work may be deducted from the list of things that should be considered in a new and expansive renovation and restoration program, the answer is variable. All work FOL does is performed to professional standards and with the expectation of being permanent. But what this means going forward can depend.
For example, our restoration of the chandelier and auditorium pendant lights, the re-cast concrete floor risers, rebuilt hose cabinet valves, new copper water piping, replacements of corroded or frozen section of steam pipes, replacement of radiators, and repairs of leaking sections of drain piping are most certainly permanent and examples of work that does not need to be re-done.
Value engineering may play a part in the consideration of other work. For example, reactivated electric circuits have proven very reliable, and absent a major leak, the need to physically dismantle a section of a circuit’s run, or rough handling when extant lighting fixtures are taken down for restoration, there is little practical reason to expect the original wiring to fail. But some engineers will push to replace old wiring on principle. Doing so would be a major job, and even though all original circuits are in conduit, replacing conductor in conduit is not always easy or sometimes even possible. What to do about this and other issues that can similarly be argued either way will likely be decided by the cost of other necessary work and the overall funding available.
In some cases, what is needed is to extend FOL’s work. For example, our utility refinishing of hallways and some rooms in the upper level of the dressing room area removed collapsed ceilings, killed mold and mildew, hauled out several dumpster-loads of refuse, restored functioning heating, installed a new, adequately sized water feed, refinished walls, installed new doors, provided several shower units, and more — all of which provides a good base to continue from and take the renovation of the area to the next level of appointment.
In other instances, FOL’s work is permanent provided that new, joint consideration determines it still best serves needs going forward. For example, FOL’s work allows the reconfigured and repurposed triplex-era projection booths to remain forever if it’s determined they are useful for storage or other purposes going forward. Conversely, if it is decided that it’s more purposeful to restore the way the auditorium appeared before the rooms were constructed, they can be removed.
Some of FOL’s work is subject to the effects of age. For instance, while the more recent (and, in fact, ongoing) restoration of balcony balustrades and hand railings will be in service for years to come with little attention, it has been 20 years since we restored the side walls of the auditorium’s first floor, and they are showing signs of age and wear.
One of the fortunate aspects of the approach being put together now for the Loew’s is that FOL, with our background in construction and restoration coupled to an intimate knowledge of the condition of the Theatre, is in a position to help inform planning going forward.
6. General RFP Process. Does the JCRA questionnaire (Appendix E) need to be completed as part of the RFP response? Or is this only to be completed after the RFP is awarded?
ANSWER: This should be completed as part of the RFP Response.
7. A/V and Technology. What functional audio, video, and other technology is currently in the venue?
ANSWER: Audio — Presently, larger productions bring in sound systems. We have facilitated this by providing a modern 100 amp three phase disconnect and multiple 20 amp circuits on stage that are dedicated for audio-only use, with additional dedicated circuits at the FOH tech platform to power a mixer, effects, etc. To cut some logistical concerns and time from per-show audio set up, we provide built-in digital and analogue audio snakes between stage and tech platform. Though our Cadac 40 channel mixing board is capable of supporting large productions, typically digital boards are brought in as part of a rental package or to meet a tech rider specification, and the Cadac is wheeled to the side. We have a smaller in-house PA system with a limited inventory of hand held, lav and area mics for smaller productions.
Stage Lighting — Basic stage light infrastructure was modernized by installation of two Strand racks with 192 dimmer channels under DMX control. Existing stage and house lighting circuits were ported over to these dimmers, and unassigned dimmer channels are patchable as needed per production. Control is by a Martin interface at the FOH tech platform, with hardwire DMX connections to the dimmers and intelligent lighting. Tie-in for non-dimmable break outs or additional dimmers is from a 400 amp three phase disconnect in the basement under the stage, accessible through a small trap in the stage floor. Longer term plans have been to install a new 400 amp disconnect on stage for this purpose. Given the ascendency of intelligent lighting, the current Strand wracks may be adequate for future needs. Stage power is supplied by an original feed rated for 800 amps across three phases, but this is presently at half capacity, fed by a 400 amp breaker (the difference was a matter of cost at the time a new electric service was installed in the Theatre; there is no known defect that necessitate de-rating the 800 amp feed).
We unfortunately have only a very limited inventory of modern lighting instruments, either conventional or intelligent.
Video — There are no on-site video production facilities. FOL presently projects high definition (2K) unencoded digital media from our projection booth, though we are currently sourcing a DCP projector. Our typical source of digital input is our in-house Mac, but additional inputs can be added and managed through a video switcher. Audio for video is provided through the same amps and processor for movie sound, described below. We do not have on-stage rear projection.
Film — The projection booth is well equipped by FOL for 35mm screening. Two Kinoton FP-20 studio-grade 35mm projectors with carbon arc lamphouses are operational, and two Norelco 35/70mm projectors are being added. A museum-quality Vitaphone projector is being restored. Movie audio is run through Crest amplifiers and a Sony processor. (There is a restored historic Perspecta sound processor for the 200+ film titles from the 1950s originally issued with soundtracks in that pseudo stereo format.) The booth also has film rewind, inspection and cleaning facilities.
WiFi — UniFi access points have been installed to provide WiFi coverage to most areas in Theatre, and several more are being added to cover the few areas that presently have weaker coverage.
8. Preservation. What restrictions aside from dates for the organ society and protection during construction need to be considered? Could a covering be built around the organ for protection during concerts, and any other events?
ANSWER: In terms of covering and protection of the console during show performances, set-ups, etc., a padded, moisture-proof covering, similar to ones available for pianos, is one fairly low tech and not-unsightly option when no thrust stage is needed. But we have also long assumed the eventual need to design a pre-fab platform that can be set up as needed over the console not just as protection, but also to continue the line of the adjacent orchestra lift when it is fully raised to serve as a thrust stage.
Apart from the console, the 1,800 organ pipes and their air lines also need to be considered. In terms of regular operation, the pipes are isolated enough that the chance some physical damage will occur to them as a result of show operations seems remote (this would change if there ever was a production-related need for someone to go into either of two chambers where the pipes are set up, but fortunately again, such a need also seems remote to imagine). More important under normal circumstances will be climate control for the pipes and related equipment; temperature and humidity can cause the pipes to go out of tune. FOL added steam heat to the chambers years ago, and humidity is added as needed (particularly in cold weather months) through the blower/turbine. But air conditioning of the organ chambers must also be added as part of any major renovation.
Protection of the organ pipes during construction will have two major considerations: On the one hand, what steps need to be taken to mitigate any chance of physical damage will be dictated by the nature and scheduling of any work in the organ chambers; hanging netting, setting up plywood barriers, etc. are likely protective steps. But dust contamination getting into the pipes or their air lines is as much or more of a threat, so sealing the organ chambers off from the adjacent auditorium with plastic sheathing in advance of cutting, drilling, grinding, etc., especially when it is being done on the stage or in the auditorium itself, will be necessary. Just as importantly, and as ongoing protection even after construction is completed, a filter frame should be fabricated and installed on the organ’s turbine, located in the first level of the dressing room area basement. But during construction, when significant dust-making activities are anticipated, the room the turbine is housed in will need to be sealed off with plastic sheathing.
All protection for the organ will have to be reviewed and agreed to by a GSTOS representative.
Lastly, it will be necessary to allow the organ to be played periodically during construction, since inactivity cause the organ to go out of tune and possibly cause various other problems, from sticking air valves to warped moving parts. So the organ will need to be played periodically by GSTOS members– without an audience, of course, and at mutually agreeable times during construction, even if this necessitates temporary partial removal of protecting sheathing and other coverings.
9. What is the size of the office that FOL needs in the adjacent retail space?
ANSWER: FOL will need on-site office and storage space in the Loew’s, the latter including storage for concession supplies and equipment FOL may need independent from the successful respondent’s concessionaire, and storage for supplies and equipment related to FOL’s ongoing preservation responsibilities. To an extent, then, the amount of needed storage space will vary depending on the parameters regarding concessions negotiated by FOL and the successful respondent in their agreement. Also, some storage space — although not that for concessions — may be able to be located elsewhere in the Theatre building, and not contiguous with FOL’s office space. For now, a working estimate is 1,400 square feet.
10. What are some of the types and examples of events that FOL has booked over the years of its lease (the example list in the RFP is helpful – we are seeking additional detail on intent for future program goals if possible)?
ANSWER: Film is and will always be a key component of FOL programming. More broadly, we want to make sure that virtually everyone has a reason and the ability to enjoy and benefit from this landmark Theatre at least a few time each year; we see that as both a historical mission of movie palaces such as the Loew’s, and an absolute social good now and in the future. One part of doing this is diversity in programming — in the traditional sense of that word as well as the more modern inference meaning multi-cultural. And another key concern is affordable programming.
Diversity and affordability can often mean working with local groups, which happens to be another goal, so not surprisingly we do a lot of that. And with an upgrade in the Loew’s technical capacities we expect to not only continue to work with local groups, but also increase our ability to foster their growth. But local groups are not, and should not be the sole source of diversity and affordability. For example, multi-cultural diversity can also mean bringing in a national dance troupe that’s visiting the U.S. It can mean a commercial act that is not necessarily as widely popular or isn’t presented in our area as often as the biggest, most profitable acts are. It can also mean presenting programming to schools so as to introduce young people to the experience of live performance in a theatrical setting, and to the Loew’s in particular. It could mean bus-and-truck plays and musicals for people who can’t afford Broadway or even Off-Broadway. And so on. These are examples of programing that FOL should be doing for our mission now, but isn’t able to, at least not on a frequently recurring basis, because of the restrictions and difficulties in operating the Theatre in is present condition.
We understand that there will be overlap sometimes between the kinds of programming we are looking to do and that which is being considered by the commercial entity we’ll be sharing the Loew’s with. This is not a problem, but rather an opportunity partnering, and we expect to have close contact between us, and to stay fluid and cooperative in planning. We also understand that for a for-profit entity the biggest imperative is to maximize revenue, and we respect that all the more because some of that revenue will be used to maintain the Loew’s. But we will ask our partner to bear in mind that while making money is not the sole or even most important goal for a non-profit entity, “not for profit” cannot from a practical standpoint always mean “for loss.”
11. Architecture. Are there any drawings for the existing venue available to review prior to the due date?
ANSWER: The City has digital copies of the surviving original blueprints owned by FOL — mostly the mechanical and electrical plans, though some structural elements are incidentally shown on them. The HSR also has schematic floor plans. The City may have copies of plans prepared years ago for repair of the fire escapes (never carried out) and perhaps partial plans for a new air conditioning system (never carried out) as well as plans for the repair/replacement of exterior doors and the recent standpipe and inverter work.
12. Is a topographic survey plan of the existing site available (either to review prior to submission, or during diligence period)?
ANSWER: We’re not aware of a topography survey. The existing structure covers most of the site so it’s not clear how such a survey would used. Admittedly the building essentially straddles a drop going down from street level on the southern side to the depressed railroad cut used by the PATH train on the north side. (The site the Theatre stands on was previously owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which at the time owned the adjoining cut.) The Journal Square area, and the JFK Boulevard Bridge that runs through it over the PATH cut were radically altered in the decade before the Loew’s was built. We have seen drawings and at least one photo showing the empty site where the Theatre would eventually be built; those seemed to indicate that there may have been some form of retaining walls on the site prior to the Loew’s construction, but presumably such structures would have been removed and replaced as part of the construction of the Theatre, and we are unaware of any surviving records of them. HMR did created an interior elevation drawing of the Theatre, and I believe that is included in the HSR.
13. Are the studies and offers of the previous solicitations available?
ANSWER: Any requests for documents from the City and/or Agency should be submitted via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request.
14. Are there adjacent sites which may be incorporated into the project?
ANSWER: This RFP focuses specifically on the Loews structure, but it is possible for respondents to partner with adjacent/nearby property owners in the area.
15. As the loading dock needs additional depth, is the parking structure behind the theatre available for re-positioning?
ANSWER: Yes, but some additional discussions and negotiations will be necessary with the property owner of that site. The property owners have committed to partnering with the City to make the Loew’s project work, including the need for loading facilities behind the Theatre that may encroach on their property.
16. Are there any dedicated parking areas the City could dedicate for priority parking?
ANSWER: The private parking lot behind the Theatre is a possibility, but additional discussions must occur with the property owner(s).
17. Are there any recent parking or transportation studies available to review?
ANSWER: A traffic study for the Loews has not yet been performed, but a citywide parking plan was recently completed and available here: https://jerseycitynj.gov/community/transportation/trafficsafety/jerseycityparkingplan
18. Does the City/JCRA anticipate a need for a formal environmental review process in conjunction with the ground lease or other transaction components?
ANSWER: Respondents must conduct their own due diligence with regard to the site. DEP permits or approvals required for the project, if any, will be the responsibility of the Redeveloper.
19. Will City, JCRA or FOL allow the management company to self-promote or co-promote events (take risk in their name)?
20. Does the City anticipate supporting the venue with any services or personnel – such as mechanical, electrical, etc. or will the venue be self-sufficient?
ANSWER: The City expects the venue to be self-sufficient.
21. Parking – does the venue control any parking in area or is it City/Privately controlled? Please provide detail on access to parking.
ANSWER: All parking facilities in the area are privately owned. See also Answers to Questions 15-17.
22. Project financing: Can you please confirm your expectations as they relate to project financing?
ANSWER: The City expects respondents to propose an amount of funding to cover as much of the costs of construction as possible. The structure of that funding is up to the respondent, and the City will responsible for filling any gaps in funding.
23. Historical performance:
a. Can you please provide operating data for the last five years including:
b. Number of shows by type.
c. Attendance for each show.
d. Organizational Chart with Title and Salary
e. Financial Operating Statements
ANSWER: An explanatory note is needed about understanding and using historical performance data at the Loew’s: All of FOL’s operations to-date have been shaped or contorted by the restrictions and limitations caused by the Theatre’s condition. Arguably the most dramatic example is the inability to use the approximately 1,000 seats in the balcony – which makes it impossible to book many larger and potentially lucrative acts that require more seating than is available on the orchestra floor alone. But other restrictions have similarly limited activity and associated revenue generation: a lack of air conditioning means that the Theatre is forced to be dark for at least three months or the year; the requirement that Fire Prevention officers be present whenever the Theatre is open to the public limits the number of events that can be scheduled while increasing expenses dramatically; liability concerns from code violation issues forestall regularly programming for, and marketing to schools and youth groups; an artificially limited schedule makes it impossible to adequately staff, and also retards public awareness of the venue.; etc. And there is also the need for FOL to divide its time, resources, etc. in a way that very few other venues do between operations and an ambitious in-house construction program that relies on volunteers.
A major goal of the RFP process is to overcome these limitations and enable the Loew’s to operate more regularly without such distorting encumbrances.
This means that the record of operations to-date does not realistically indicate what the operations of the successful respondent nor even FOL will be after major renovation and restoration of the Theatre is completed.
Summary of operating data for last 5 years:
Year Totals Musical Theatrical Dance Lobby Lectures & Events
By Event Type Receptions Exhibits Graduations Film 5 yr. Total
6 2 2 14 7 4 33 68
6 3 1 14 8 3 32 67
5 4 6 15 9 4 31 74
7 2 8 16 6 5 32 76
6 2 7 18 7 5 32 77
5 Yr Total By Event Type 30 13 24 77 37 21 160 362
Patrons Per Year 5560 1811 514 3631 1077 2353 8207 23153
Per Event Type
Please note that the above event listings include both commercial and non-profit events.
Non-profit events are in four categories: FOL events; reduced rent; co-sponsored by FOL or underwritten by FOL.
Examples of some artists who have performed in concert at the Loew’s through the years include: Pattie LaBelle, Beck, Sufjan Stevens, Jeff Mangum, Kurt Vile with Courtney Barnett, John Hammond, Valerie Simpson, The Rascals, The Manhattans, Shemekia Copeland, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and Tran-Siberian Orchestra opened up their dress rehearsal to public school students.
Special appearances, often paired with film screenings or book signings have brought such names to the Loew’s stage as Celeste Holm, Patricia Neal, Anna Faris, Nick Offerman, Bryan Cranston, Ray Harryhausen, Keir Dullea, Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, and the cast of the Waltons TV series, in a reunion following a screening of “The Homecoming“. Other commercial events have included: Pony Con, Saturday Nightmares Horror convention with George A Romero, Batman screening special event with Lee Meriwether, The Culture of Contact Multimedia UFO Festival with special guest William J Birnes, multi-cultural film screenings, comedy shows.
Non-profit events run the gamut from high school theatrical productions through The Egyptian National Folkloric Dance Troupe. Other examples include: City Council and Mayoral Debates, Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta Performances, Annual End of Year Art Exhibits for the Jersey City Arts High School, Volunteer Expos, Annual NJCU Media Arts Student Film Festival, Hudson Shakespeare performances for students, Diabetes Wellness events, Patients Out of Time Medical Marijuana Conference, T.E.D.X conventions, Foundation for Autistic Training and Education fundraiser, Annual Coptic Church Art Auction fundraiser, Annual Golden Door International Film Festival, Annual Your Move Modern Dance Festival, Kennedy Dancers performances, Rotary Club fundraisers, Association of Preservation and Technologies Symposium, Hurricane Relief Fundraiser for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Other FOL activities include:
Tours for school classes, community and private organizations, walk-ins and annual tours for visiting West Point Cadets; photo, motion picture and TV shoots.
Paid Staff: Executive Director: Colin Egan
Assistant Director: Patricia Giordan
Per Deum: Stage Operations Manager: John Faherty
Lighting Technician Jim Barron
Sound Engineer David Vanderhyden
Per Bono: Infrastructure Manager George Parel
Accounting George Riddle
24. Can you please clarify treatment of concessions revenue? It looks like there may be a word missing in section 5.
ANSWER: Yes – there was indeed a missing word. It is meant to read: “For each FOL Event, FOL [emphasis added] shall be entitled to (i) ticket sales revenue, less applicable charges and fees and taxes (if any); (ii) gross concessions revenue for permitted concessions conducted by FOL less reimbursable costs, if applicable, to the Redeveloper as may be described herein; and (iii) gross revenue from sales of merchandise sold by FOL.”
25. How are event expenses treated for FOL events?
ANSWER: FOL shall not pay for the use of the Theatre or any equipment in it owned/controlled by the commercial entity. FOL will use its own forces in most aspects of operation, in part as a means to limit expenses. FOL may be charged for certain soft costs based on the nature and requirements of each FOL event, based on a schedule of costs agreed to by FOL; this will need to be negotiated between FOL and the successful respondent. Agreed arrangements in this regard will have to reflect the fact that the RFP expects a major portion of FOL’s programming be affordable, with attendant need to limit costs.
26. Does the respondent have the right to sell a presenting sponsorship for the theater? E.g., Loew’s Jersey Theatre presented by the ACME Corporation.
ANSWER: That is something the terms of which would need to be negotiation by the successful respondent with the City and FOL. Not negotiable is the need to retain the name “Loew’s Jersey Theatre” above any sponsorship.
27. Will the respondent have any category/exclusivity protection as it relates to FOL fundraising?
ANSWER: We assume “fundraising” here means sponsorships, since it’s not clear how exclusivity applies to traditional non-profit fundraising. In terms of sponsorships, this would be subject to negotiations over the terms of the agreement between the successful respondent and FOL.
28. Will the FOL expect to pay rent for their presence at the theater?
29. Are there any feasibility or vision plan(s) for the theater that can be shared with proposers?
30. Does the theatre have any agreements in place with resident companies? If so please provide.
31. Do any third parties (e.g. resident companies) have booking priorities beyond what is described for the FOL?
32. Are there any third-party agreements in place for the theater? If so, please detail and provide copies.
ANSWER: FOL has an agreement with IATSE Local 59. The terms take into consideration both FOL’s non-profit status and the restrictions to operating the Theatre in its present condition. Distinct terms will have to be negotiated for the commercial operator.
33. Are there any existing sponsorship agreements? If so please detail the annual value and remaining term.
34. Will union labor be required for services? If so please describe and provide detail on any existing agreements.
ANSWER: See Answer to Question 32.
35. Will the venue operator have control over selecting the concessionaire/catering provider?
ANSWER: Yes, with terms and limitations as described in the RFP.
36. Will tax-exempt bonds be utilized to finance the project? If so, there may be an implication on the ability to have an operator-at-risk model.
ANSWER: This is possible and should be included in the proposed financing and funding structure.
37. Is there a ticketing contract in place? If so, please provide.
ANSWER: There is no standing contract in place for ticketing services.
38. Are there any established marketing databases that the successful operator will have access to? If so, please describe.