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Second round of bids pour in for Osceola's NeoCity office building

The 100,000 SF office building will be adjacent to the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center at NeoCity, which opened its doors on April 13.
The 100,000 SF office building will be adjacent to the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center at NeoCity, which opened its doors on April 13. (Osceola County)

Osceola County will have its choice of nine local and national architecture firms to design the first office building at the NeoCity office park.

SchenkelShultz architects were a part of the winning bid last December when the county was pursing a design-build contract with Skanska USA. The county cut off negotiations with the group in May, and decided to finance the building construction and maintain the office building as a public asset.

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Earlier this month the county broke the project into two separate bids for architect/engineer and construction manager at risk (CMAR). Both firms resubmitted separately, Procurement Manager Don Gaskins told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday.

NeoCity is Osceola County's 500-acre high-tech research park.
NeoCity is Osceola County's 500-acre high-tech research park. (Osceola County)

They were among the nine architecture firms and five construction management companies who responded to the county's request for proposals.

Procurement Director Rebecca Jones said one selection committee would review and rank both sets of proposals. They haven't scheduled a meeting yet to shortlist the firms, but the county's goal is to complete the selection process in June.

"This is a fast-track project," Jones said.

At least three firms will be invited to make presentations for each contract. "That's what changes everything," Jones said. "Some people really rise above in the presentations."

The four-story, 100,000-square-foot Class B+ building will be built adjacent to the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center that opened in April and will share a surface parking lot.

It will serve as headquarters for Bridg (formerly ICAMR) and Belgian research cooperative imec at the office park on the former Judge Farms property. Those users will occupy half of the gross leasable area, and the county will seek tenants for the remaining two floors.

County Manager Don Fisher previously said he was hoping for a higher response rate than the four bid packages submitted in the last round. Using a Construction Manager At Risk (CMAR) model allows the architect-engineer to file independently. And unlike the earlier solicitation, this RFP did not require a conceptual rendering -- just examples of similar work.

"This is one of the first times we've truly used a Construction Manager At Risk model," Jones said. "When you combine the two, it's a Design-Build, and there's a lot more to the process. This is much simpler."

Perkins+Will, which is completing the NeoCity master plan, and Baker Barrios were also among the firms that teamed up with developers for the first solicitation. Both resubmitted for this round of bidding.

Fisher said they could include the previous design concept, but they are free to change it up.

Baker Barrios architects envisioned an eye catching building with a mix of glass, steel and other materials in its 2016 proposal. Architects who submitted earlier are free to change the design concept.
Baker Barrios architects envisioned an eye catching building with a mix of glass, steel and other materials in its 2016 proposal. Architects who submitted earlier are free to change the design concept. (Baker Barrios)

Baker Barrios is the lead architect for Kissimmee's downtown redevelopment project, which is underway now, and for renovation of the former AT&T building in Downtown Orlando.

HOK designed the Microsoft Technology Center as part of a 200-acre tech research park in St. Louis.

BRPH designed the award-winning Lake Nona Middle School. The Melbourne-based design firm, which specializes in aviation- and aerospace-related industries, has expanded its presence in Central Florida. The firm has contracts with UCF, Lockheed and Orlando International Airport.

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Miami-based Zyscovich Architects, which maintains a local office in Winter Park, was one of several firms that sought the contract in 2015 for the Judge Farms master plan. The firm was selected by All Aboard Florida to design four multimodal stations in downtown Miami.

Architecture firms were not required to submit renderings with their bid packages. This rendering by Perkins+Will was included in the firm's 2016 proposal.
Architecture firms were not required to submit renderings with their bid packages. This rendering by Perkins+Will was included in the firm's 2016 proposal. (Perkins+Will)

HHCP is the lead designer on a number of high-profile Orlando projects, including the downtown Lynx station and Skyplex.

HKS Architects has designed corporate headquarters for such diverse companies as Lear automotive designers, RadioShack and Tyler Technologies.

Paul J Ford and Associates provides structural engineering services to architects. The company has an office in Winter Park and has worked on a range of commercial projects in Orlando, including the Simpsons area at Universal Studios and Florida Hospital's Women's Center.

A CMAR works with the architect and engineer to review plans and handle the pre-construction permitting duties. The firm also manages the budget, construction schedule and bidding processes for all sub-contactors.

Five companies will compete with SKANSKA, which recently completed construction of the neighboring sensor facility.

CORE Construction, based in Winter Park, has completed multifamily, student housing and senior living facilities in Florida.

Welbro Building Corp. has completed several projects in Osceola County, including the Omni Orlando Resort and conference center at ChampionsGate.

Moss & Associates is based in South Florida and has offices in Orlando and Tampa. The firm specializes in public-private-partnerships, and served as CMAR for Marlins Park in Miami.

Charles Perry Partners served as construction manager for a $30 million research lab at UCF.

This story was updated to remove a construction management firm that did not submit a proposal.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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