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N.Y.C. Agency Taps Eight Firms as Small Project CMs

New York Construction News – May, 2007
by Alex Padalka and Heather Hatfield

  

The New York City Department of Design and Construction announced the selection of eight firms that will be on a short list to compete for construction management contracts for non-infrastructure projects valued at less than $25 million.

The agency, which provides design and construction services for more than 20 city agencies, expects to issue the “indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity” contracts this spring to the following firms: AFG Construction Management of Washington, D.C.; Carter & Burgess of Fort Worth, Texas; Gilbane Building of Providence, R.I.; Hill International, of Marlton, N.J.; New York-based TDX Construction; The Liro Group of Syosset, N.Y.; The McCloud Group of Hoboken, N.J.; and San Francisco’s URS Corp. The firms all have local offices to perform the work.

The contracts, which will have two-year terms with an option to renew for a third year, will be awarded through the agency’s structures division, which currently has $2.4 billion of work in progress. The division’s projects include museums, libraries, correctional facilities, and police facilities, though not all of its projects will flow through the new system, according to DDC.

 

While AFG, Carter & Burgess, Gilbane, McCloud, and TDX have not worked with DDC in the recent past, Liro, Hill, and URS are seasoned consultants with the agency. The firms were selected out of 29 responses to an RFP issued this winter in a quality-based comparison that favored firm experience, key personnel, and organizational capability.

The new program will allow the agency to reduce the amount of time and resources spent on the construction manager selection and assignment process on individual projects, says David Resnick, the agency's deputy commissioner of structures.

“The idea underlying all of this is that we are the agency responsible for matchmaking, which is our primary responsibility,” he adds. “I think this process gives us the flexibility to do it successfully.”

But those already critical of the DDC's reliance on construction managers say this is an expansion of an already questionable initiative. Henry Goldberg, managing partner of Goldberg & Connolly of Rockville Centre, N.Y., a construction and government contracting law firm, says DDC is “relying more extensively on a program that has serious legal concerns,” referring to the city's existing procurement program that uses “CM-Build” contracts.

Goldberg says that program violates both the state's Wicks Law, which requires four separate prime contractors on most public projects, and Section 137 of the State Finance Law. He says the new DDC program presents similar concerns regarding how the agency advertises projects and possibly circumvents true competitive bidding.

 


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