City to renovate buildings for $18.5 million


POSTED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 7:55pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 7:53pm

The work will now begin in earnest to renovate two more buildings for city use, in addition to the El Paso Times building. City Council has awarded contracts to two local construction companies to perform work at 218 North Campbell and 801 Texas. CF Jordan will renovate the Luther Building on Campbell for an estimated $11.5 million. Arrow Building Corporation will get $7 million to renovate 801 Texas.  In both cases, the companies will have to pay subcontractors to perform work.

Council voted 4-3 in favor of awarding the contracts. The city engineering department explained that Jordan and Arrow edged their competitors in a rating system, making them the preferred contractors, although the overall bids were similar to other firms.

If the projects come in under budget, Jordan will be willing to return to the city 50 cents for each dollar saved, according to engineering department employee Irene Ramirez.  Arrow would give back 100 percent of savings.  But the possibility exists for budget overruns, beyond the $18.5 million the city now says it is willing to pay combined for the two projects. 

El Paso City Representative Courtney Niland said she wished the engineering department had come to council sooner to explain the review process, but she voted to approve the contracts anyway.

Representatives Robinson, Holguin and Acosta dissented, voted "no," on both of the renovation jobs.

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