Work on the Moore Square renovation could get underway in late October now that Raleigh parks staff have chosen a Sanford company, American South General Contractors, as the apparent low bidder at $14.279 million.
With a contract guarantee of thirteen months from the date the city sends its "notice to proceed" to the company, the often-moved completion date becomes November 2018, parks planners said.
The Raleigh City Council has final say over the bid and will likely consider awarding the contract at an August meeting, parks staff say.
"At the latest we will bring the bid award to the City Council on Sept. 5," park planner Grayson Maughan says in an email Thursday.
Landscaping, a concert area and a restaurant are included in the city's proposal. The long-planned project to spruce up and make additions to one of Raleigh's historic squares had two bid openings in June, Maughn said.
At the first bid opening on June 5, the single proposal received failed to meet the legal requirement of at least two bids. On June 15th, bids came in from American South General Contractors, Bordeaux Construction Company and Clancy and Theys Construction Company.
Clancy and Theys offered a lower bid based dollar amount, at $14,204,558. American South said it would employ a much higher percentage of minority-owned firms on the project, 12.12 percent compared to .35 percent from Clancy and Theys. Bordeaux Construction's bid came in at $14.45 million.
The deal with American South is not final, and parks staff say they will continue to talk terms with the company. City council members voted in 2014 to spend $12.6 million on the project and planners said in May that some aspects would be trimmed if necessary to meet that price.
"Staff is value-engineering and negotiating a contract with American South," Maughan says.
Once the city included the deductions necessary to bring the overall project cost down to $12.6 million, Southern American had the lowest bid, said parks planner Stephen Bentley.
Moore Square has played a role in the city's educational, spiritual, recreational and commercial landscape since it was laid out as part of the city's original design in 1792. The current move to refurbish the square dates to at least 2009, when a design competition was held to contemplate various new looks.
The city will be working with social service agencies and others to deal with any disruption caused by the closing of the park, likely in September. And Raleigh is planning an enhancement for the neighborhood during the yearlong construction project, Bentley said.
"We are working with the Office of Raleigh Arts," he said.
"When we put a fence around the park, there will be four different public art displays on the fence instead of a traditional construction fence."