City of Tacoma News -Mortenson May Get Convention Center Contract

“Bellevue-based M.A. Mortenson Company may receive the contract for developing the Tacoma Convention Center, if approved in today’s Tacoma City Council meeting.Council members will take testimony and vote on a resolution that awards Mortenson a contract up to $2,150,000 for predevelopment services, including a master plan and conceptual drawings for the convention center site.The pre-development services contract is first of two contracts necessary for construction of the facility. If this first contract is approved, the City and Mortenson will work together to decide what elements to include in the convention center site and where to locate each element. Working together, the two will also explore private co-development possibilities on the site including housing, retail, parking and a hotel built over the convention center.By the end of this phase, the City would have a master plan and conceptual drawings that depict what the site could look like. Once final construction documents are completed, the City may sign a construction contract with Mortenson – currently estimated at approximately $33.75 million – provided they reach agreement on guaranteed construction costs.The heart of Mortenson’s master plan is an 189,030 gross-square-foot convention center complex featuring a five-story glass lobby along Pacific Avenue. A sky bridge over Commerce Street and light rail line would lead to a 50,000 square-foot main hall and 23,000 square feet of meeting rooms.The co-development portion of Mortenson’s proposal includes a 400-room hotel over the convention center, a 76-unit apartment development along Pacific Avenue, 500 parking stalls and street-level retail wrapping the corner at 15th Street and Pacific Avenue, continuing up Commerce Street. The plan proposes unifying the convention center area with the renovated Waddell Building at 1502 Pacific Avenue.Two companies, Mortenson and the Trammell Crow Company of Seattle, responded to the request for proposals to design and build the center and co-develop the site. A committee of consultants and City staff evaluated the proposals and interviewed both teams.City officials said the committee ranked Mortenson first based on a number of factors including the company’s experience in constructing complex projects and the overall quality of their proposal. Mortenson has been in business since 1954 and has worked on several other convention centers.City staff plan to present the master plan to the City Council this summer. The estimated $61 million convention center is to occupy from Pacific Avenue to Market Street and South 15th to 17th streets. The project cost is to be determined later this year following negotiations with the team.Groundbreaking for the new convention center is anticipated in 2001 with an opening in late 2002.”