Downtown Orlando Developments

Gilbane wins design-build contract for $17M Orlando community center

This aerial map (north to the right) shows the target property in downtown Orlando. Existing buildings in the black shaded area will be demolished prior to commencement of the community center project.

UPDATED: June 28, 2018 10:43 PM — A team led by Gilbane Building Company was chosen Thursday for the design-build contract to renovate and construct Orlando's new Grand Avenue Community Center, a project budgeted at $17 million back in April.

The City of Orlando announced its choice of Gilbane for the project after its staff reviewed seven proposals earlier this week. The other applicants included McCree Design Builders, Wharton Smith, OHL Building, Williams Company, West Construction and Welbro Building Corp.


Gilbane's partners on its design-build presentation were Borrelli + Partners architecture group and JCB Construction, a leading minority firm in the region for site development and construction management.

Rendering of the Grand Avenue Community Center in downtown Orlando proposed by Gilbane Building Company and its design-build team.

The design-build services contract is for the former Grand Avenue School, a two-story Mediterranean Revival structure built in 1926 in Orlando's Holden Heights neighborhood. The building was designated a historic landmark by the city in 1995.


Mackenzie Carolan, Gilbane's development manager in Orlando, said Thursday the company is excited to have been selected for intended award of the design-build services contract.

"This is a very important project for both the city and the community to which it will serve," she told GrowthSpotter.

The school closed in June 2017, but city officials announced last December they planned to acquire it from Orange County Public Schools. The plan is to retrofit the historic building and an adjacent media center built in 1982, for a total reuse of 29,844 square feet.

Located at 800 Grand St. and 1488 S. Parramore Ave., the property totals more than 13 acres, with separate parcels owned by the city and OCPS.

The entire neighborhood center, including new construction, is anticipated to have 66,000 square feet of conditioned area.

Orlando's City Council will be asked to approve the Gilbane team's selection at its July 23 meeting. Negotiations would follow on the details of specific service fees.

Pre-construction/design will be the first phase of contracted work, with design to be developed in close collaboration with the city. When those drawings and specifications are substantially complete, the firm will develop a guarantee maximum price with an "open book" method. That will serve as basis for the Phase 2 contract (construction phase).

The schedule for completion of the building should not exceed 900 days, including design time, per the original Request for Proposals in April.


Gilbane's current local construction projects include the Seminole State College Wellness Center, the NeoCity Academy in Kissimmee, Osceola County's Toho High School, Orlando's Colonial High School addition and renovation, work inside Florida Hospital's Cancer Institute in downtown Orlando, and a new medical office building and parking garage in Lake Nona for Tavistock Development Company.

Past highlight projects by Gilbane include building the Orlando International Airport, original construction of the Orange County Convention Center, renovation work at Orlando Health's Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer hospitals, Orlando's Edgewater High School, and varied work at Walt Disney World.

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