ST. PETERSBURG — After months of negotiations, the city is preparing to sign its first contract for a $50 million Pier.
Several points stand out in the proposed $4.7 million architectural and engineering agreement between St. Petersburg and Michael Maltzan Architecture, designer of the structure to be known as the Lens.
• Demolition costs for the current Pier will determine the final construction budget of its replacement.
• Estimates set construction at $35 million, but Maltzan can terminate the contract if the budget dips below $32 million.
• The project will progress through a process said to be the best guarantee that it will remain within the council-mandated $50 million cap.
• Design of a key component — the underwater garden — is omitted, though costs for a feasibility study are included.
• The contract does not address a petition drive that could derail construction, but includes clauses that allow termination of the agreement.
The City Council will consider the agreement on May 17.
Council member Steve Kornell is pleased with the contract but has concerns. "It didn't say much about the upland. I have to feel that it is a complete design within the $50 million."
The new Pier presents "a real opportunity for the addition of a new waterfront park" at "a very modest price," council member Karl Nurse said.
The contract includes a small portion of upland development, called the Hub.
Raul Quintana, the city's architect, said the $4.7 million going to Maltzan will include payment for basic architectural services, as well as structural and civil engineering, soil tests and wave and current studies. An estimated $138,000 will cover reimbursement for travel, lodging, meals and other costs, he said.
The first phase of the agreement, during which the design will be evaluated and refined, will include input from residents, council workshops and an analysis of whether the underwater garden will work.
The city also plans to hire what is referred to as a construction manager at risk.
"Bringing in the construction manager at the front end, they can advise the architect on real costs and real methods of doing things," Quintana said.
The construction manager will give the city "a guaranteed maximum price" for the job.
That pleases council member Charles Gerdes.
"If it's truly a guaranteed maximum price, that's what I'm looking for,'' he said.
The agreement does not address a group, voteonthepier.com, trying to save the current Pier. Members are conducting a petition drive to force a vote on the issue. The contract with Maltzan allows the city to suspend or terminate work at any point.
Demolition is scheduled for late summer of 2013. Construction could begin on the new Pier in 2014.
Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2283.