New York company gets conditions for Orange Bowl demolition
By Risa Polansky
The City of Miami is calling for local participation in demolishing the Orange Bowl, requiring the West Seneca, NY-based preferred contractor to use local workers and subcontract a substantial chunk of the job to small, local companies.
Meeting the conditions would earn the company a full paycheck, probably $2.3 million for a three-month-long demolition.
The 10% of the contract generally held by the city until work is completed would be released to the company only under four additional conditions, said Gary Fabrikant, assistant director of the city's capital improvement program:
18.5% of the work must go to small, local companies.
The company must "prove to us they've made every effort possible to use the local workforce."
The demolition must be done on time and within budget.
The contractor must maintain a safe site.
It was this "bonus provision," and the fact that the Decommissioning & Environmental Management Co. was the lowest bidder, that led city staff to recommend through a competitive negotiations process that commissioners choose it for the job, Mr. Fabrikant said.
They are to vote today (12/13) to approve staff's findings.
Contractors were solicited for the demolition, as well as for asset recovery, through a competitive process and still submitted sealed bids in vying for the job, Mr. Fabrikant said.
However, because of "the critical nature of time" — the city has been shooting to begin the demolition in January — staff chose to undergo "competitive negotiations," he said, sitting down with each of the three short-listed companies to finalize proposed plans and negotiate pricing.
The city's code requires findings of such negotiations on projects valued at more than $50,000 be approved by commissioners as "emergencies."
Still, "we used a highly competitive process," Mr. Fabrikant said, exerting "tremendous outreach."
The city placed the ad in "Daily Business Review, El Diario Las Americas, Miami Times, and El Libre, which are the standard publications," said Danette Perez, public relations manager for the city's capital improvements program, in an e-mail.
The city also placed an announcement on its own Web site as well as the Engineering News-Record Web site, which then included it in an e-mail newsletter.
Still, only one company from Miami replied. One local company says it never got the chance to jump in.
Julio Otazo, vice president and principal of Miami-based MCO Environmental, said his company contacted the city Nov. 9 after reading about the bowl's upcoming demolition in the Miami Herald, having never seen the project formally advertised.
The city replied that the deadline to submit the survey required as part of the city's request for letters of interest, issued Oct. 30, was Nov. 6.
"They didn't advertise it properly," Mr. Otazo insisted. "They were not advertising through the regular means."
The city does not advertise in the Miami Herald because of cost, Ms. Perez said. "The media we do use are well known to the firms who do business within Miami-Dade County."
The job was widely coveted by out-of-town companies and 14 of the 15 respondents were from out of state.