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Suggestion Announced for $1B Airport Terminal

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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The Kansas City (Missouri) Council selection committee has chosen its recommendation for which group will be awarded a $1 billion project at the Kansas City International Airport.

The group selected Bethesda, Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate, just a week after several airlines that fly out of the airport came out in support of local Burns & McDonnell (though they did add that they’d be willing to work with any of the four teams that had bid on the project).

Different Tracks

The bidding process began unexpectedly as Burns & McDonnell proposed a plan for a no-bid contract to build and privately finance a new terminal. Only after there was public outcry was the project opened up to other bids.

Pacman5, CC-SA-BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kansas City Council selection committee has chosen its recommendation for which group will be awarded the $1 billion project at the Kansas City International Airport.

Burns & McDonnell was soon in competition with Edgemoor, along with AECOM and Jones Lang LaSalle.

The process was handled differently by each company, with some releasing financial information and design renderings publicly. Others also publicly criticized the process.

According to the Kansas City Star, Karl Reichelt, an AECOM Capital senior manager, said last month that the committee’s follow-up questions were “moving the goalposts” and allowing other competitors to alter proposals.

Burns & McDonnell held rallies and alleged conflict of interest, going so far as to say within recent weeks that the process should start over.

Suggested Selection

Officials say they recommend Edgemoor because of terminal project experience and finances, but also because the company kept a low profile.

“They were the only proposer to bring forward that idea saying we might do a 100 percent debt option, which was an intriguing idea as we try to make sure we maximize value and minimize cost,” City Manager Troy Schulte told The Star.

The city will get to do that a bit more if the Council goes with the committee’s pick, as Edgemoor hasn’t even begun the design process yet.

KCUR-89.3 reports that the developer is all about working with the city and its residents whenever they do a project.

"We don't come with preconceived ideas," architect Derek Moore said at a press conference on Friday. "No two of our terminal buildings look the same. We find that design, we collaborate with you to develop it."

Moore directs the aviation practice at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which would be the design lead on the project.

Moving forward, the Council has to actually award the project, and officials have made it clear that just because there’s a recommendation from the committee, doesn’t mean they’ll make the same decision.

“We can accept the recommendation, reject the recommendation and go to the number two team (AECOM), or we can terminate the process entirely,” said Councilman Quinton Lucas. “It’s still on the table that we can terminate the procurement process.”

Assuming that the project is awarded, residents still have to vote for the project in the November election.


Tagged categories: Airports; Bidding; Business matters; Good Technical Practice; North America; Project Management

Comment from Jesse Melton, (9/13/2017, 8:04 AM)

"Officials say they recommend Edgemoor because of terminal project experience and finances, but also because the company kept a low profile."

Which one is it? I'm going to go with the former. If it's the latter then the residents of Kansas City should be suing the local government and the selection committee because they clearly didn't do their homework. Edgemoor has a low profile the same way tornadoes sneak into towns at night and steal buildings without anyone noticing.

Somebody should do a study on why the 500,000 population mark is also where city governments go pear shaped and nothing can be done without blatant incompetence and an overwhelming sense of corruption.

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