Price tag due for Coral Gables public safety building
Construction manager the Weitz Company is to set a guaranteed maximum price for Coral Gables’ new public safety building by mid-October. The price tag is to include Aecom Technical Services design plans and pay for architects and engineers.
The project continues its design development stage after city officials sought a fresh start in 2015 out of its Brutalist-style home at 2801 Salzedo St.
Construction on the project site at 2151 Salzedo St. is to start in January with a budget of $48.4 million. The completion is set for 2020.
The new building is to span 120,000 square feet with an adjacent parking garage with 163 spots spanning 70,000 square feet.
Five floors are to encompass the city’s Human Resources Department, Labor Relations Department, IT team, police headquarters, police and fire department administration teams, 9-1-1 Call Center, emergency operations center and Fire Station 1.
The city is looking to incorporate public artwork commemorating fallen police officers and firemen for a total art budget of $250,000. Artwork may decorate the plaza, lobby and façade.
“The police officers working with the city now remember those officers, even the ones that died quite a while ago in the service of the city,” said City Historical Resources and Cultural Arts Director Dona Spain. “It is such an important piece. It’s not just art. It’s a memorial to fallen officers and also to the public service for the safety of the citizens of Coral Gables. It’s going to be a wonderful piece.”
An art advisory board of artists and volunteers reviewed 93 submissions and picked three professionals in August. Finalists Ivan Toth Depeña from Charlotte, Miami-based José Bedia, and Martin Dawe of CherryLion Studios in Atlanta are to submit sketches later this month after visiting the project location and meeting city officials in late September.
“It’s quite nice because it’s a different approach to art in general. It’s a nice mix of a different type of art for the panel to review,” Ms. Spain said.
Mr. Dawe owns his custom sculpture studio and often works by commission. His portfolio consists of life-size sculptures bathed in granite or bronze, including his Interactive Rosa Parks sculpture at Georgia Tech and his 8-foot-tall statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Georgia State Capitol.
Fellow applicant Mr. Bedia is no stranger to South Florida. Born in Havana, he works with a range of art forms including large-scale paintings and sculptures. His work can be spotted across Miami, including the untitled lobby floors and balcony railings in the Adrienne Arsht Center Ziff Ballet Opera House and Knight Concert Studio.
The third finalist, Mr. Depeña, often combines light, color and abstract designs for his public installations and has experimented with technology in the past. For example, his “Lapse” project in 2016 augments reality through an application. Users raise their iPads or cellphones over different areas across Miami, such as when riding downtown’s Metromover, and see the scenery distorted with color, verses and sounds.
The Arts Advisory Panel is to recommend its preferred artist in the coming weeks to the Cultural Development Board. The Cultural Development Board then is to review the finalists’ presentation and refers their favorite candidate to the City Commission, which has the final word. Ms. Spain hopes the winner is announced by late October and, if not, no later than December.
The artwork and construction timelines coincide. Both construction workers and the artist are to start work in early 2019.