The vacant Third Avenue and Main Street lot has piqued the interest of four groups that recently submitted a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to the Mitchell Area Development Corporation.

According to Mark Vaux, CEO of the MADC, all four of the RFQs -- and the redevelopment plans that are included -- have met the requirements to move to the next phase of the process to develop, which is the submission of Request For Proposals (RFP).

“I’ve done the vetting on all their submissions, and they are all qualified to submit a Request For Proposals (RFP),” Vaux said. “We will be moving forward to review the RFPs, which will have the specific design concepts of what they are proposing to do with the parcels of land.”

The RFQ process requires the interested developers or groups of people seeking to redevelop the Main Street lot to submit general plans, which can be a commercial or mixed-use project. For the RFP process, it requires the developers who met the RFQ process to submit extensive design plans and details of how their plan for redeveloping will take shape, which is then reviewed by an administrative team made up of representatives from the MADC and community leaders.

That means one of the four groups will ultimately be selected as the developers of the Third and Main lot. However, Vaux said each of the four groups could have the opportunity to collaborate and submit an RFP together that would allow more than one group to redevelop. Vaux noted that option is up to the interested groups seeking to redevelop the land.

“They are all exciting ideas and plans, and we look forward to moving along in the process to bring some great things for downtown Mitchell,” Vaux said.

The RFQ submissions come roughly two months after the MADC invited developers and entities to submit their plans and ideas for the downtown property.

The MADC has had ownership of the corner lots on Third and Main since August after the Mitchell City Council approved transferring the buildings to the MADC. The two buildings that formerly sat on the land were recently demolished in the fall, ending the city of Mitchell’s two-year battle with addressing the 301 N. Main St. nuisance property. Moody’s Western Wear was the former neighboring building that was demolished along with the 301 N. Main St. building.

With confidentiality in mind, Vaux said he would not disclose what the plans that the four groups have for redeveloping the lots. However, he said all four of the submitted plans will fit within the makeup of Mitchell’s Main Street.

“Of the four, two of them could partner and collaborate and bring one RFP together. They need to develop their investors team, and develop the design of what they are going to do,” Vaux said, using restaurants, office spaces and apartments as examples of potential plans that could be submitted. “I know the strengths these groups have, and we need to give them ample time to put those teams together and the architecture concept and designs.”

As for the timeline, Vaux said the four groups have roughly up to three months or more to complete the RFP submissions for them to be reviewed by the review team. Vaux’s goal for choosing which plan to redevelop the lots is expected to take place sometime in 2021.

“It would be ideal for redevelopment to begin around 2021,” Vaux said.