The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. needed subcontractors to work on the Northland Corridor's former Houdaille Manufacturing complex, located at 541 E. Delavan Ave.
The agency sought firms to handle concrete piers and foundations; structural steel; framing; roofing; and masonry reconstruction. The contracts — all under budget — would have totaled $1.92 million.
But four of the five contractors that would have won the bids failed to provide for any participation by minority- or women-owned businesses, saying they were not able to find capable partners. The fifth is a minority-owned business but isn't certified by the state, so it wasn't qualified.
The city has previously set a goal of 25% minority and 5% women participation for public contracts, including Northland. So rather than accept what BUDC President Peter Cammarata termed "substandard" proposals, the agency decided Tuesday to rebid the project.
"We felt this was completely inadequate," Cammarata said. "We felt it was contrary enough to what we’ve done in the past that we should not move forward."