Orange County moves to hire owner's rep for convention center expansion

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Orange County is taking the next big step in preparing to expand the Orange County Convention Center, putting out the call to hire an owner's representative to manage the entire process, according to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued on Friday. 

The county is pursuing development of 856,000 square feet of expansion to the OCCC North/South building, comprised of a new multipurpose venue and grand concourse additions, also known as its "Phase V" project. 

The expansion, estimated last year to cost nearly $500 million, would be funded with proceeds from the tourist development tax, the Orlando Sentinel reported back in June 2017

The eastern side of the North/South building will consist of a 200,000-square-foot multipurpose venue, and the western side is planned for a 60,000-square-foot meeting room addition to the grand concourse, and a flex-ballroom of 80,000 square feet. 

Each area will also have new service, back-of-house and utility space. The project also includes public improvements in and around the convention center, including an enhanced streetscape and utilities relocation.

The consultant hired -- typically a firm with a range of planning, design and engineering experience -- would oversee the project's review and management for every stage through construction.

A groundbreaking is projected for February 2020, per the RFP. But work will only begin when authorized by OCCC's Capital Planning team. 

OCCC now has 2.1 million square feet of exhibition floor space. Staff have estimated that an expansion could help them draw 25 new events per year, or roughly 250,000 people. 

The future owner's rep is expected to manage the development program in a timely manner over the next year to give OCCC sufficient time to solicit and award contracts for an A/E design team and a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). 

A key part of the job is managing design of the expansion and construction work around the conventions, shows and exhibits that OCCC has under contract.

The owner's rep must implement a program management plan to ensure all parties on the project are coordinated, including daily contact with the architecture and engineering design team and a CMAR. They'll lead project status meetings and prepare the RFPs for the A/E design team and CMAR. 

They'll prepare a master project schedule, aid OCCC's staff in developing a budget and financial controls, coordinate with utilities and more.

The owner's rep will be the gatekeeper for review of the future A/E team's design criteria package and schematic design. They'll review final construction plans, prepare third-party estimates of project soft costs and construction costs, and perform value engineering at all stages of the project.

Back in 2014-15, the county hired architectural research firm Populous to conduct a full campus plan study of OCCC and offer recommendations on best use for its land in the future

Applications are due to the county's Procurement Division office by July 17. A pre-proposal conference will be held June 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the OCCC South Concourse (Room S230AB). 

Full documents for RFP no. Y18-811-JS can be found through the county's Bid Openings webpage. 

The company that is awarded the county's term contract for cost estimating, scheduling and project management services for the OCCC (no. Y18-179-EB), issued earlier this year, will not be eligible to compete on a team for this new contract. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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