Bids approved for third Howard Commons building
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Construction bids and allowances totaling $9,198,109 to construct the third building of the Howard Commons apartment complex were approved Monday, Feb. 25, by the Howard village board.
The 45-unit apartment building is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020 after beginning construction this coming spring.
When factoring in an available $300,000 contingency fund, the total construction cost for Building C comes to $9,498,109, an average of $211,069 per unit.
Ryan Raskin of Altius Building Company appeared before the board to recommend awarding bids in 20 different construction areas.
Raskin noted the bids overall came in around $330,000 under budget with the carpentry and miscellaneous bid coming in $557,104 under budget and heating, ventilation and air conditioning bid being $195,360 over budget.
“In almost every case, we’re recommending the low bid be awarded,” said Raskin, who pointed the apparent low bid for storefronts was incomplete and the only low bidder not accepted.
The village has served as the developer of the Howard Commons to spur development in the Village Center and not have to provide large economic development incentives through tax incremental financing.
Alliance Management has an agreement with the village to manage and market Howard Commons.
Located between the YMCA and Meadowbrook Park, the project was designed as three apartment buildings with 84 units in Building A, 39 units in Building B and 45 units in Building C. Buildings A and B opened for occupancy late last year.
To determine the construction costs for the third apartment building, Raskin previously informed the board an internal budget was put together, based on the housing market, along with speaking with the vendors who worked on the first two buildings to gauge interest in whether they would also want to work on Building C.
Raskin noted a large majority of the contractors involved with Building A and B will be the same for Building C.
Much of the board’s discussion about constructing the third apartment building focused on the possibility of cost overruns, such as those occurring for the first two buildings when Raskin came before the board regarding those additional expenses.
For instance, Trustee Ray Suennen told Raskin the board didn’t want to go through those cost overruns again with Building C.
“You indicated that you felt the pain when you came up to us each time,” Suennen said. “I don’t think you felt a third of the pain that some of us felt. We really hope you have good, solid numbers, and as you said, you have incorporated many of those things into this project for Building C.”
Trustee Adam Lemorande said he wanted to award the contracts as presented, but didn’t want to have to see a subsequent list of additional costs as occurred in the past for the other two apartment buildings.
“I’m just wondering how we can go ahead and not have these costs be popping up like they popped up last time,” Lemorande said. “I know you’re reassuring us, but once the ball starts rolling, there’s no stopping it.”
Village President Burt McIntyre said he would expect the risk of having cost overages for the third apartment building to be “pretty low,” provided the project wouldn’t be delayed and as long as changes wouldn’t be made to the original design.
Raskin said biggest risk for cost overruns would be in the construction site dirt, but because there was “good dirt” for the first two buildings, he didn’t think that would be an issue for Building C.