Ten highly qualified construction management teams submitted bids to direct work on one of the newest Buffalo Billion economic-development projects, in what officials described as a surprisingly strong showing of support from the private sector for an initiative on the city’s East Side.
The teams – four of which are led by an out-of-town firm that is already active in Buffalo – responded to a solicitation from Buffalo Urban Development Corp., which is overseeing creation of the state’s light-industrial hub in the Northland Avenue Belt Line Corridor.
The $44 million project – mostly funded by the state, but also with $5 million from the city – includes a dozen properties with more than 700,000 square feet of space, which will be renovated or redeveloped to attract small and advanced manufacturers to a struggling neighborhood with a long industrial history. But the centerpiece is a proposed Western New York Workforce Training Center, to be located in 100,000 square feet of space at 683 Northland Ave., one of the largest existing facilities, which will also be subdivided to house tenants in the rear.
BUDC sought construction managers with significant participation from minority- and women-owned businesses, and all 10 responded accordingly. BUDC officials will now evaluate them before making a choice.
The teams are led by Casilio Group of Companies, Gilbane Building Co., LeChase Construction Co., LPCiminelli, McGuire Development Co., Pike Co., Savarino Companies, Turner Construction Co., Uniland Development Co. and Waterbourne Construction Advisors.
“I’m very pleased that some really top-flight companies have responded. It demonstrates the growing investment interest that exists in the City of Buffalo,” Mayor Byron W. Brown, chairman of the nonprofit BUDC board, said by telephone from the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “To have 10 responses is exceptional, and we have continued to communicate with the business community in a variety of different ways about the city’s goals for minority and women business participation. If we are to continue to grow this city, every sector of the population must be involved.”