Miami Beach

Commission to consider shortlist of construction firms for convention center renovation

The design for the exterior of the Miami Beach Convention Center that was presented to the City Commission last month.
The design for the exterior of the Miami Beach Convention Center that was presented to the City Commission last month. Fentress Architects/Arquitectonica/City of Miami Beach

The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday could narrow the small field of firms vying to finish designing and eventually renovate Miami Beach Convention Center.

Four firms responded to the city’s solicitation for design-build services, which means the company that is selected would complete the design process and start the construction after Art Basel in Dec. 2015.

The City Commission will on Wednesday consider the administration’s recommendation to pick three of the firms to move to the next round of selection process. The firms that go forward would then receive a design criteria package, with 30 percent of the drawings done by Fentress Architects, Arquitectonica and West 8, in December.

With that package, the firms would come back in the spring with a guaranteed maximum price and possible alternatives that could save the city time and money.

Maria Hernandez, project director of the convention center district, said the city aims to choose a firm in April to keep the $500-million project on track.

“We’re very happy that the firms that we got are ones that we got,” she said. “Any one of them could build this project.”

According to a memo, City Manager Jimmy Morales is recommending the commission shortlist the following three firms to advance:

▪ Clark Construction Group, LLC: Based out of Bethesda, Md., Clark Construction has completed 15 convention center projects. The $4.7 billion worth of work includes the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.; the Music City Convention Center in Nashville; and the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center in Boston.

▪ Hunt Construction Group, LLC: This Miami firm has done 20 convention centers and hotel convention center projects totaling more than $5 billion. A few of their highlights include the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Expansion in Orlando and the Phoenix Convention Center Expansion in Phoenix.

▪ Hensel Phelps Construction Co.: Hollywood-based Hensel Phelps has worked on six convention center and hotel convention center projects before, totaling $1.5 billion of work. Their projects include the expansion and renovation of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver; the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Convention Center in San Diego; and the Hilton Baltimore Hotel and Convention Center in Baltimore.

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