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New Renderings Released for $1.5M MO Airport

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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The development team for Missouri’s $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport terminal project recently released a small project update along with brand new renderings of the final goal.

After a long and arduous bidding process, ground officially broke at the site in March.

The Saga: The Beginning

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.

Images: Edgemoor

The development team for Missouri’s $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport terminal project recently released a small project update along with brand new renderings of the final goal.

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 Kansas City 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.

The Saga: More Drama

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.

After a long and arduous bidding process, ground officially broke at the site in March.

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.

The Saga: The End

By the end of January, developer drama was still continuing, with three members of the 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.

Edgemoor, along with architect SOM released updated renderings in August, along with an update with what’s been happening since the start of construction in the spring.

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

By March, a ceremony was held for the groundbreaking where the projected 1 million-square-foot project is expected to generate up to 5,000 jobs.

What Now

Edgemoor, along with architect SOM released updated renderings in August, along with an update with what’s been happening since the start of construction in the spring.

“Much work has occurred with the installation of fencing, clearing and demolition of Terminal A and its garage, closure and asphalt removal of Circle Lots E-1 and E-2,” according to the update.

Much of the work will necessitate shifts in traffic patterns, but it will be done in phases, officials noted.

News outlet 41-KSHB Kansas City reports that more than 60 local firms—including 41 minority- or women-owned businesses—are on the docket to participate in the project. Many of those companies are listed on the expanded BuildKCI.com.

“We created BuildKCI.com and Build KCI social media channels to be the official places to follow along to get up-to-date information and images of the project from start in 2019 to finish in 2023,” Director of Aviation Pat Klein said. “Those interested can visit and follow or sign up for email updates and have the information delivered directly to them.”

Officials also note that the design will incorporate materials that are “unique to Kansas City,” and will include wood ceilings and stone walls.

Construction is still aiming to be completed by spring 2023 ahead of the NFL draft, which is slated to take place in Kansas City in April of that year.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Architecture; Commercial Construction; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Renovation; Terminals

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