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MO Kicks Off $1.5B Terminal Project with Ceremony

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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Just over a month since Missouri's Kansas City International Airport reached a price agreement on the $1.5 billion terminal, a celebration has been planned.

Holding 39 gates and just over one million square feet, the new terminal is the largest infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history. During its construction, it is expected generate up to 5,000 construction-related jobs.

According to The Kansas City Star, festivities for the event are scheduled to be held at 2 p.m. March 25 at KCI’s Terminal A parking structure.

A Brief History

Back in 2017, developer Edgemoor was awarded the bid after a contentious bidding process. It was able to nudge out firms AECOM, Jones Lang LaSalle and Burns & McDonnell.

Rendering courtesy of KCI

Just over a month since the Kansas City International Airport reached a price agreement on the $1.5 billion terminal building, a celebration has been planned.

In the beginning, some took issue with the project proposed as a no-bid contract by Burns & McDonnell, a local firm, leading to a public outcry when the bidding was opened up. In addition, several airlines that fly out of the airport came out in support of 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.

Another glitch was that the bidding 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 Star, Karl Reichelt, an AECOM Capital senior manager, had said that the committee’s follow-up questions to bidders 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.

In the end, the selection committee said it recommended Edgemoor because of terminal project experience and finances, but also because the company kept a low profile.

Then, in December 2017, the Kansas City Council rejected the original memorandum of understanding with Edgemoor, with members posing concerns about the agreement’s vague terms and insufficient community benefits, but a questionable provision that put the city on the hook for up to $30 million, even if the deal never closes.

When it came to light that the council was questioning the MOU, AECOM and Burns & McDonnell announced that they had teamed up and were waiting to step in if the council decided to completely scrap the deal with Edgemoor.

However, the council and Edgemoor came to a revised agreement in February 2018, which included a more robust description of community benefits, such as free or subsidized transportation options and licensed child care for workers. It also added contributions to several charitable organizations, detailed an apprenticeship program and made commitments to hiring minority- and women-owned businesses.

Costs of the project had been rising since its inception, and in November 2018, officials released new estimates, putting the price of the project as a whole at nearly $2 billion, which includes about $400 million in finance costs.

Geoffrey Stricker, managing partner for terminal developer Edgemoor, told the Star at the time that the ballooning costs were because the airlines (who are financing the project), have requested four additional gates, more parking for airplanes and larger gate holding areas.

By the end of January, developer drama was still continuing, with three members of council—Scott Wagner, Teresa Loar and Lee Barnes—reportedly asking a consortium, KCI Partnership, which was led by AECOM, for an updated financial proposal, highlighting how divided the council members were on the project in the first place.

AECOM claimed it could save the project $1.113 billion. The council did not entertain the idea of switching developers, however.

The Long-Awaited Celebration

One week after city council approved its design and construction agreements, as well as its goals for women-and-minority-owned business participation and the community benefits to enhance Kansas City’s workforce, officials announced the ceremonial groundbreaking.

The festivity for the long-awaited project will serve as a kick-start for work such as the interior demolition of Terminal A, as well as important project-related programs and services designed to strengthen local small businesses.

The event is expected to draw city officials, airline representatives, project partners, labor and business leaders. Those interested in attending are to register by visiting kci-edgemoor.com/.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Building design; Building operations; Building owners; Commercial contractors; Contractors; Contracts; Designers; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Projects - Commercial; Terminals

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