Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of division of capital asset maintenance and management in consultation with the secretary of transportation, commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation and the seaport advisory council shall within 90 days of passage of this act solicit a nationwide request for proposals, to redevelop the state pier located along the historic New Bedford waterfront. Proposals may include private entities or quasi-public authorities as well as other government entities or combination thereof with experience in port development and management, to transform the state pier from its current state into a vibrant public area. Redevelopment proposals should include plans to sustain current and future expanded maritime related industries as well as plans for additional retail which may include a fresh fish and produce market, dining and entertainment. Other mixed uses to be considered include dedicated public space for major cultural events and waterfront accessibility for the general public in such a way that it increases tourism and the footprint of the capital improvements already made to the historic downtown and route 18. Prospective developers, in conjunction with appropriate state agencies and other governmental entities, shall be encouraged to create capital improvements which would increase tourism, public recreation and other economic development including job creation in the Port of New Bedford. Developers shall also demonstrate the financial ability and creativity to formulate an effective marketing plan to maximize both local use and tourist use of the facility with the intent of creating a destination landmark.
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