Suffolk Construction Co. first in line to build Marlins stadium parking
By Risa Polansky
Boston-based Suffolk Construction Co. is first in line to build parking for the new Marlins stadium, sliding in just ahead of ballpark contractor team Hunt/Moss.
The city posted parking bidder rankings last week.
Suffolk, which has a main office in West Palm Beach and a satellite in Miami, beat out 11 other hopefuls for the up-to $94 million, four-garage, six-lot project — including Hunt/Moss, which is handling both the 37,000-capacity, retractable roof stadium and infrastructure work at the old Orange Bowl site.
That joint venture ranked second after Suffolk.
Birmingham, AL-based Brasfield & Gorrie placed third.
Members of the city's selection committee based rankings on both technical and price proposals.
The contractor recommendation won't be official until the city manager signs off, which could be as early as this week, a city capital improvements spokesman said.
Department Director Ola Aluko was unavailable. Gary Fabrikant, an assistant director, referred questions to Mr. Aluko.
Commissioners are to have the final say on a contract.
Suffolk officials are raring to go, said Tim Sterling, vice president of Miami operations.
He would not reveal the company's price proposal at this stage of the game but cited parking expertise and efforts to include small businesses as reasons Suffolk came out ahead.
The firm has handled several recent local projects with large parking components, including downtown office building Met 2.
Suffolk also built shopping center Fifth and Alton in Miami Beach, including its garage.
And the company is no stranger to sharing sites with other contractors, Mr. Sterling said.
Once the Marlins tapped Hunt/Moss to build the stadium itself, Miami and Miami-Dade County opted to hand the joint venture the contract for site infrastructure as well, stressing the importance of having only one overseer to keep within timeline and budget.
Mr. Sterling predicts a win on that front.
Moss was one of four general contractors working on the Fifth and Alton job, he said.
And Suffolk built a movie theater right in the middle of the CityPlace development in West Palm Beach — more experience working with other contractors.
"We can bring that history of successful working relationships to the garages project," Mr. Sterling said.
The firm also plans to include small businesses, proposing putting out four to six bid packages for subcontractors rather than one large one.
"It allows for more participation by smaller firms," he said.
It's unclear when construction will begin.
Though the city says no one has protested the contractor rankings yet, it seems a former hopeful might.
The city invited 11 of 12 bidders to interview for the parking job, leaving Fort Lauderdale-based Facchina Construction of Florida off the list.
The company did not return a call for comment, nor did its attorney. But it's been reported Facchina plans to fight the city's decision.
Regardless, the stadium parking components must be complete by 2011's end, Mr. Sterling of Suffolk noted.
"We feel very confident in being able to deliver the project within that timeframe."