Committee ranks Braves stadium contractors; American Builders listed as 1st
by Jon Gillooly
May 16, 2014 04:00 AM | 8226 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The committee of county and Atlanta Braves staff charged with recommending a general contractor for the proposed $672 million Braves stadium has ranked the four bids that were submitted last week.

The bid ranked highest by the committee is American Builders 2017, a source with knowledge of the decision told the MDJ on condition of anonymity.

“Negotiations on a guaranteed cost are underway, expected to be completed by Friday night,” the source said.

If an agreement cannot be reached on the cost and terms of the contract, the committee will turn to the second best ranked firm.

But if negotiations are successful, the committee will advise the Board of Commissioners to hire American Builders 2017 as the general contractor May 27.

American Builders is a joint venture between Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC, which built the Georgia Aquarium; Minneapolis, Minn.-based M.A. Mortenson Company, which is building a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings; Southfield, Mich.-based Barton Malow Company, which oversaw the Rose Bowl Stadium renovation; and Atlanta-based New South Construction Company, which built Whitefield Academy’s academic and athletic facilities, as well as Cobb County’s work release building, a minimum security facility for inmates.

Joe Tommie, the county’s purchasing director, said the county received four bids May 8 and the committee scored them Wednesday.

“Once you interview and evaluate, then you’ll come up with a highest-ranked company based on the evaluators’ scores,” Tommie said. “That was done yesterday. Fastest thing we’ve ever done. And then after that you’ll go through a contract evaluation process on price and terms and conditions of the contract, and then on May 27 — assuming everything goes OK — we’ll take a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.”

Ranked in no particular order, other bids submitted to the county are from New York City-based Turner Construction Company; a partnership between Sweden-based Skanska and Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group, LLC; and a joint proposal from Atlanta based-Holder Construction and Hunt Construction Group, Inc., based in Indianapolis, Ind.

Chairman: economic forecast improves

In related news, county Chairman Tim Lee held a press conference Thursday where he spoke of the county’s improving economic condition and how it would positively impact the Braves deal.

Lee said the hotel/motel tax, estimated last November to collect $940,000, has been readjusted to collect $1.2 million a year.

The hotel/motel tax is one of the revenue streams the county intends to use to make the annual $24 million payment on the $368 million bond issuance financing the stadium.

Lee said another positive indicator is the increasing digest.

The Cumberland tax district created to help pay for the deal was originally projected to tax 3 mills to bring in an annual $5.2 million to help make the $24 million debt payment.

Lee said the tax rate will now be reduced by 10 percent to 2.7 mills due to increases in the property tax digest.

The county already collects $8.7 million a year in property taxes to pay off voter-approved general obligation bonds issued to buy parkland.

Those bonds will be paid off in 2018. One of the more controversial decisions commissioners made in the Braves deal was choosing to continue collecting the annual $8.7 million in property taxes once the park bonds are paid off and using those taxes to pay for the Braves bond debt for the next 30 years.

Lee said when the first payment of $8.67 million is made in 2018, the Braves project will have already generated $12.6 million from property and sales taxes.

“Even though the taxpayers are making $8.67 (million) investment into this project, they’re getting back $12.6 million in 2018 from property and sales taxes,” Lee said.

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