Homestead - South Dade

Officials approve contractor, amend budget for Seminole Theater renovation

Traffic on Krome Avenue passes the vacated Seminole Theater, which is a contributor to the general weathered look of Homestead’s downtown.
Traffic on Krome Avenue passes the vacated Seminole Theater, which is a contributor to the general weathered look of Homestead’s downtown. MIAMI HERALD

Homestead officials have awarded another major construction project in the city to the same company in charge of building the new city hall and police station.

The city council approved Munilla Construction Management to renovate the Seminole Theater in the city’s historic downtown, although it is a bit out of their price range.

Residents approved a bond referendum in May 2014 to increase the property tax bill by 19 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value to raise $5 million to renovate the Art Deco-style theater, which opened in 1921 and has been closed since 1979.

City staff estimated the total soft cost of the project will be about $882,000, which leaves $4,118,000 for construction. MCM bid $ 4,980,000 for the project, but the city said they will negotiate to bring down the costs.

MCM is cooperating with the city to try to reduce the construction costs, but in the meantime, officials approved the bid and amended the city budget to take $817,000 from the general fund towards the cost of renovations.

“We need to go back to MCM to negotiate down the price. We are also looking at some of the soft costs,” said George Gretsas, Homestead city manager. “We just wanted you to know what the maximum exposure is in case everything goes bad.”

The city is hoping to receive a state grant of $550,000 for the project, which would bring up the budget for construction to $4,668,000, but the city won’t know the grant funding allocations until May.

“Right now, we’ve designated funds under the current budget. If we achieve savings, we’ll replenish those funds,” Gretsas said.

Two other firms bid on the project:

Burke Construction Group had bid on the project for $4,585,000, but it had submitted an incomplete application and the city deemed the company as nonresponsive. The third firm, Thornton Construction, bid at $5,113,955.

“Technically, because the lowest bidder was deemed unresponsive, then the lowest bidder is MCM,” Gretsas said.

MCM had also won the bid to build the new city hall for $25 million and the police station for about $13.5 million.

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