Mayor Justin Taylor told the NEWS last week that Pioneer Plaza developer Daniel Siniawa is continuing to review the bids on the project which were opened last month.


Mayor Justin Taylor told the NEWS last week that Pioneer Plaza developer Daniel Siniawa is continuing to review the bids on the project which were opened last month.
The proposed $14 million project on South Main St. has been beset by delays for years, but plans still call for a hotel, parking garage and 500-seat banquet hall, as well as retail space and residential apartments, to be included.
Bids were opened in a private session at City Hall on Nov. 15.  Because the Pioneer Plaza is being built by a private developer, the bids did not have to be opened at a public meeting, nor do they have to be released publicly.
However, in his interview with the NEWS, Taylor dispelled rumors that bids came in twice as high as the budget.
“They were nowhere near that,” he insisted.
He said the bids “might have been about $1 million overbudget.”
“There’s still a lot of value engineering that can take place,” he offered, “where Siniawa & Associates will ask a contractor, ‘Why are you using that kind of tile?  You can use this other tile which is just as good but won’t cost as much.’  And as you go through the whole project doing that, it can bring those cost figures down quite a bit.”
Taylor stated that two meetings have been held with the architects and engineers over the past couple weeks, but nothing has been finalized.
“There were 17 individual trades that were put out to bid as part of the overall package, and bids were received on 14 of them,” he related.  “So, at a minimum, those three other trades may have to be rebid.”
He said Siniawa & Associates is also considering rebidding the entire package as one single proposal, as opposed to staying with a package of 17 individual trades and rebidding the final three.
“I don’t think that determination has been made yet,” Taylor noted. 
He pointed out that there were multiple bidders on some of the 14 trades that drew proposals in the bidding process.
“So, for instance, there may have been five different contractors who submitted proposals for the electrical work,” he explained.  “When you’re talking about multiple bidders on so many individual trades, there are a lot of numbers that have to be reviewed and that’s why the process can take some time.”
When asked if he remained confident that the budget issues will be resoved and the project will move forward on schedule, Taylor didn’t hesitate.
“Absolutely,” he stated.