New Flagler Street civil courthouse meets ‘significant cost inflation’
Written by Jesse Scheckner on November 13, 2018
A new Flagler Street civil courthouse that county commissioners OK’d in July has run into “significant cost inflation” due to costlier construction materials, higher interest rates and need for a taller building, Mayor Carlos Giménez said last week.
In late August he predicted costs, first projected as over $280.71 million, would surpass that number for those exact reasons.
The first of 30 annual payments – estimated by county advisor Perez & Perez Architects Planners, financial advisor BMO Capital Markets Corp. and independent cost estimator US Cost – will be up to $38,748,600, a 49% hike from the $26 million yearly estimated in July 2017.
Funds to pay the added costs, Mr. Giménez wrote, would come from $50 million in general obligation bonds and sales of the existing courthouse and other properties.
“The county intends to [cover] annual [payments] with a covenant to budget and appropriate [funded by] legally available non-ad valorem revenues,” he wrote. In 2014, voters rejected issuing $390 million in bonds for the building to replace the old one that costs millions in annual remediation.
The county responded by soliciting private partners. Representatives from 38 construction firms attended an Aug. 28 pre-submittal conference. On Sept. 27, the county got submittals from Fengate Capital Management, Hunt Companies, M-S-E Judicial Partners, Plenary Group USA Concessions and Sacyr Infrastructure USA. From those, “up to three developers will be invited to submit a fixed price proposal together with preliminary designs for further evaluation,” the mayor wrote.
Phase 1 – drafting, proposal requests and evaluation – ends this month. Drafts of proposal request documents for Phase 2 will go out late December, Commissioner Sally Heyman said. Commissioners are to approve a project agreement by April 2020, with construction in July 2020.