Commission approves State Street garage construction

 

Commission approves State Street garage construction

 

Date: April 21, 2014
by: David Conway | News Editor

 
 

 

Next month, work on the State Street parking garage should finally begin, as the City Commission approved the guaranteed maximum construction cost for the project at a meeting today.

A.D. Morgan, the firm in charge of designing and building the garage, determined the guaranteed maximum price to construct the parking structure is about $10.6 million. That total would bring the overall cost of the project to $11.4 million, a $4.1 million increase from the original budgeted cost of $7.3 million.

City staff explained the additional costs would be partially covered by downtown Community Redevelopment Area funds. An additional $1.7 million will be allocated to the project via loans from the city’s fleet liability and worker compensation funds.

Commissioners gave the project a final go-ahead in a 3-2 vote this afternoon. Even those commissioners that voted in favor of accepting the construction costs expressed a concern about the rising price. Commissioner Susan Chapman said she was voting for the project to move forward because she felt bound by the decisions of prior commissions; an agreement with the developers of Pineapple Square requires the city to have a garage in place at State Street and Lemon Avenue by February 2015.

“I'm not happy with the price, but I am happy with the design,” Chapman said. “I think we need to just bite our tongues and go forward.”

Mayor Shannon Snyder and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo voted against moving forward with the project considering the expense.

“I think this is a pretty egregious expenditure for what we're getting,” Caragiulo said.

Construction on the garage is scheduled to begin in mid-May. Substantial completion is expected by February 2015, with final completion coming in March 2015, according to Chief Planner Steve Stancel.

The five-story State Street parking structure will include 399 parking spaces and approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level. A private developer will construct a five-to-six story, 5,040-square-foot “pad site” next to the garage along Lemon Avenue, consisting of residential or office space.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

+Representatives from McKim and Creed, the engineering team in charge of completing the Lift Station 87 project, said the total estimated project costs are now between $24-27 million. Estimated at $21 million in January, costs have increased as more issues have been discovered with the previous engineering work on Lift Station 87.
+Commissioners voted to approve an ordinance that prohibits sitting or standing in roundabouts and roadway medians.
+Commissioners postponed a decision on whether or not to lease a property for use as a staging area during construction of a deep injection well. The proposed lease could potentially free up a city-owned parcel for use as a regional homeless shelter. Commissioners, interested in learning more about the environmental status of the proposed shelter parcel, will discuss the lease at a joint meeting with the County Commission tomorrow afternoon.

Contact David Conway at dconway@yourobserver.com.

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