City opens bidding process to choose designer, builder and operator of KED
The City of Greater Sudbury has issued RFPs for the design/build and site operations of the Kingsway Entertainment District Arena, which it expects to award later this year
The Kingsway Entertainment District is making steady progress, with the city issuing Design/Build Requests for Proposals for its Design/Build and Venue Operator.
“We’re definitely moving forward,” Mayor Brian Bigger told Sudbury.com. “This is heading towards the Project Completion Agreement and is based on council direction in July 2021.”
The elected officials of the city retain the last word on the two calls for tenders, which they should examine this year. The site operator’s tender should be presented in the coming weeks and the design / construction should be approved at the beginning of the third quarter of the year.
The design/build RFP includes a list of three shortlisted teams when the project was originally scheduled to move forward in 2017, that is, until legal challenges delayed progress. These teams include:
- Ball/TESC Construction Inc. (Joint Venture)/Architecture 49 Inc.
- EllisDon Corporation/BBB Architects Toronto Inc., in collaboration with JL Richards & Associates Limited
- PCL Constructors Canada Inc./Parkin Architects Ltd.
All of these promoters are based in Ontario or have offices in the province. TESC Construction Inc. is based in Sudbury and JL Richards & Associates Limited is headquartered in Ottawa but has an office in Sudbury. PCL Constructors is based in Edmonton but also has offices in Sudbury.
As approved in 2017 and reaffirmed at a city council meeting earlier this month, the two unsuccessful design/build teams will each receive a city fee of $150,000.
“We expect them to put in a solid, wholehearted effort, and they should be good to go if their design is selected,” Bigger said, adding that it’s industry standard to offer compensation. for lost deals in situations like this.
“You want a good quality design, and that’s hundreds of thousands of efforts for these architectural design firms to bid.”
The full scope of the Design/Build RFP can be found by clicking here, where numerous documents outline the scope of the KED Arena project.
In these documents, it is stated that the Design-Builder must provide all labour, materials and equipment necessary to design and construct a fully functional building and site.
The design life of the building structure should be 50 years.
In these documents, it is also indicated:
- Construction of the arena will begin in late December 2022 and is expected to take longer than the private casino being built by Gateway Casinos and the hotel being built by Genesis Hospitality. All three are slated to open around the same time in 2025.
- The total seating capacity of 5,800 will include 5,020 general seats, 500 club seats, 40 box seats and 240 private suite seats.
- The building must demonstrate a 25% energy efficiency improvement above the Ontario Building Code.
- A series of confidential design meetings will be held between February and May.
- Design-build bids will be due June 9.
The site operator component has been shortlisted to include two developers who have been shortlisted, including:
In a press release issued by the city today, it is noted that “one of these experienced and internationally connected companies will be selected to contribute to the final design of the event center, maximize revenue, minimize operating costs, increase venue programming, and work to achieve City goals as set out in the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP).
The operator will be responsible for the management, operation, marketing and programming of the 5,800-seat multipurpose event center.
The operator is expected to be approved by City Council and in place by the second quarter of the year, and Bigger said their insights should help inform the work of design/build developers.
With the RFP process underway, Bigger said KED is moving forward, with approximately $700,000 budgeted for the design-build component alone, including fees as well as a compliance team that will have third-party expertise to assist in the procurement process alongside an equity monitor.
Although County Ward 3. Gerry Montpellier has a motion to present to City Council next week calling for an Oct. 24 referendum on KED, Bigger said not only will the city have made various commitments by then, but that the motion will probably not pass.
The motion would be a reconsideration of a previous directive from city council to go ahead with the project, meaning it would require a two-thirds majority of city council to be tabled. A small majority of city council members have always voted in favor of the project.
As it stands, and pending City Council approvals continue to go in its favor, KED is set to be withdrawn as an election issue ahead of the October 24 election date.
KED has an approved budget of $100 million, including $90 million in already secured debt and $10 million in fundraising. The final results of the RFP will determine the total cost, although the most recent updated cost estimate bumped it up to $113.8 million after accounting for inflation and increase costs. Any amount over $100 million would need to be approved by city council.
Bigger said he remains confident that the total cost to build the facilities will stay within the city’s original budget of $100 million. He is also confident that a project completion agreement will be signed between the main project partners this year, which will put everyone on the same page.
“Once we’ve signed the Project Completion Agreement, we’re all moving forward with eyes wide open and engaged – it’s locked in and we’re moving forward.”
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.