City garage project is set to begin
City garage project is set to begin BY BERNARD HARRIS, Staff Writer
After a seven-month delay, plans for a North Queen Street parking garage are moving forward.
The Lancaster city Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday approved $4 million in construction contracts for the garage, to be built in the center of the block bounded by North Queen, West Lemon, North Prince and West James streets.
Construction is slated to begin later this month, with completion of the 265-space public garage in December, officials said.
After beginning in late summer with the demolition of a former apartment building at 424 N. Queen St. to make way for a garage entrance ramp, the project was halted when bids came in too high.
City officials went back to the drawing board and "value engineered" the plans, cutting $2.1 million from the construction cost.
"We did a lot of redesign, and that was a lot of it," Randy Patterson told Redevelopment Authority board members Tuesday. "But we think it was also timing."
The first bidding, in September, was done at the end of the season, whereas these bids came at the start, when builders were looking for work, noted Patterson, director of the city's Economic Development & Neighborhood Revitalization department.
Bids submitted for precast concrete work did not meet the qualifications and needed to be rebid. Those bids are due today, he said.
Even with that contract, Patterson said he expected the project to be built for about $7.5 million. That falls well below the $8.8 million construction budget. "So we're clearly in good shape," he said. "We're clearly within our construction budget."
The total $10.7 million project will be built on the site of an existing surface parking lot along North Market Street, behind the Brickyard sports bar.
It is intended to serve patrons of businesses that surround the midblock site, including the Brickyard along North Prince Street, the Belvedere Inn restaurant on North Queen Street and shops in the 300 block of North Queen Street.
But the garage project was initiated primarily to provide 68 secure parking spaces for residents of the redeveloped Lancaster Press building. That building is slated for a $16.7 million renovation into luxury condominiums.
An elevator and stair tower specifically for Lancaster Press residents were among the items cut from the garage plans.
The Redevelopment Authority accepted the following bids:
n General trades: Wohlsen Construction of Lancaster for a total cost of $2,649,500.
n Fire safety system and plumbing: E.H. Gochenaur of Lancaster, $455,000.
n Heating, ventilation and air conditioning: E.H. Gochenaur, $115,750.
n Electrical: Pagoda Electrical of Reading, $887,900.
nGarage is intended to serve patrons of businesses that surround the midblock site, and condo residents as well.