WHEELING – Bids to build the proposed parking structure on Market Street have been received, and Wheeling City Council members are due to meet today to consider a first reading of an order to award to the lowest bidder saying a contract of nearly $ 12.3 million.
A special council meeting was scheduled to take place today at noon in the council chamber of the City-County building for the sole purpose of discussing the new legislation and holding a first reading of the new ordinance. The legislation allows City Manager Robert Herron to spend $ 12,297,777 with Carl Walker Construction of Pittsburgh on the construction of the new Market Street parking garage on the corner of 11th Street in downtown.
A second reading and final approval of the ordinance is expected to take place at the next regular Wheeling City Council meeting on December 7.
On Monday, Herron said the special meeting was being held because timing is crucial in controlling the costs of large projects like this.
“Due to the current construction market and the potential for price changes, we have a 30-day suspension on bids, so the special meeting for the first reading,” Herron said.
In order to generate funds for the project, the city recently approved legislation allowing the issuance of rental income bonds through the newly activated Wheeling Municipal Building Commission. Project bonds are expected to close on Dec. 16, according to the city manager.
Herron described Carl Walker Construction as a highly regarded contractor who submitted the lowest bid among the four companies that submitted bids for the project. Other offers included an offer of $ 16,730,000 from Thomarios, a contractor with offices in Pittsburgh, Pa., And Akron, Ohio; an offer of $ 15,284,000 from Cps Construction Group of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; and an offer of $ 17,173,000 from Colaianni Construction of Dillonvale.
“The lowest bidder is an experienced parking structure contractor, and the supply is very good – very close to where we thought it would start out,” Herron said. “The architect’s estimate and our budget for the tenders was $ 13,023,000. “
There are additional costs associated with the construction, the city manager explained. Materials testing costs during construction are estimated at an additional $ 45,000, and garage access and traffic control are expected to cost an additional $ 250,000, he said. This still brings the total construction costs to $ 12,592,000, which is in the original budget.
During recent council meetings, city leaders had received criticism from the public over the escalating costs of the project, which is being completed to facilitate a $ 30 million private investment in the former headquarters. of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel. The vacant 12-story structure is being converted into an apartment complex that will be known as Historic Wheeling-Pitt Lofts, a project by owner Access Infrastructure LLC of Dr John Johnson and developer Steve Coon of Coon Restoration and Sealants.
The six-story parking garage will provide necessary parking for tenants in the 120-apartment complex, and it will provide additional parking for other downtown businesses. The ground floor of the parking garage is expected to have retail units that should eventually be filled with businesses that support the additional influx of downtown residents.
Officials have touted the developers’ claim that there is a great need for new residential options in downtown Wheeling.
Initial projections for the overall cost of the Market Street parking structure ranged from $ 13 million to around $ 17 million, as concerns about construction costs during the supply chain crisis and geotechnical issues on the site have resulted in escalating cost projections.
In addition to construction costs, the City authorized an expenditure of $ 194,800 to hire the Mills Group to perform architectural services for the design of the parking structure. The city has also authorized the expenditure of $ 475,000 with Raze International of Shadyside for the asbestos removal and demolition of the vacant Chase Bank building on Market Street, where part of the new parking structure will be installed.
“Asbestos removal is complete and demolition is imminent,” Herron said Monday, noting that a follow-up meeting with Raze officials had been scheduled this afternoon. “Construction of the parking structure, if approved by city council, should start right after the first of the year. “