Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Joint Venture Will Oversee Library Project First Duval Firms to Lead Better Jacksonville Contract

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Joint Venture Will Oversee Library Project First Duval Firms to Lead Better Jacksonville Contract

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bauerlein and David DeCamp , Times-Union staff writers

Four Jacksonville companies banded together to win the contract to manage the construction of the new main library in downtown.

Mayor John Delaney selected the Auchter Elkins Lodestar Parris Joint Venture last week. The city's Professional Services Evaluation Committee recommended the joint venture after hearing presentations from three finalists competing for the contract.

The selection of the joint venture marks the first time Jacksonville-headquartered firms have been the lead companies on a contract for downtown civic buildings in the Better Jacksonville Plan, which voters approved in 2000 with a half-cent sales tax hike. The joint venture edged two other contenders -- Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractor Inc., and Hunt Construction Group in association with Dana B. Kenyon Construction.

"It's significant when you consider that our team was selected over two of the country's largest contractors," said Brad Glass, president of the Auchter Co.

The city selected the company based on its proposal and presentation to the committee. Because the company is providing management services, city and state law allow officials to consider factors like experience besides estimated costs.

For actual construction work, the city awards contracts to low bidders. The joint venture will help create those bid packages.

The joint venture was the top choice of four of the five members of the committee over Brasfield & Gorrie, the other finalist in presentations Monday.

City Treasurer Shari Schuman, who served on the selection committee, mentioned several factors that made the joint venture the top choice. Its local connections can help make deals with the best subcontractors, she said, and the company answered the committee's questions fully. …

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