JE Dunn chosen to build $200M World Trade Center Denver

Dive Brief:

  • Developer Formativ announced Thursday that it has selected JE Dunn Construction as general contractor for the $200 million World Trade Center Denver project, according to the Denver Business Journal. The project is set to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and construction should take approximately two years.
  • The project, which will be delivered via design–​build, will feature 200,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of co-working space, 30,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space, ahotel, a conference center and a 3-acre outdoor plaza.
  • Formativ officials said they awarded Dunn, which is based in Kansas City, MO, the job earlier than usual in the planning process because they wanted to give the contractor ample time to collaborate with Oz Architecture in the design–​build process.

Dive Insight:  

Design–​build has found favor among developers and owners in the planning of projects as varied as hospitals and prisons. The method allows the architect, general contractor and other major stakeholders to cooperate on design, which cuts down on the number of costly, schedule-killing change orders — and misunderstandings — once the project is underway. It also provides the owner with a single source of contact and responsibility.

The Calgary Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, recently awarded PCL Construction Management a $1.1 billion designbuild contract — the largest such design–​build, lump-sum contract in the company's history — for its new 2-million-square-foot, 160-bed medical center.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has also chosen the design–​build delivery method for the reboot of its scaled-back $2.3 billion Green Line light-rail extension project. The MBTA had to temporarily halt the project at the end of 2015 in the face of massive cost overruns and delays. The agency said that one of the reasons the project was plagued with problems was due to the fact that it was administered under the guaranteed maximum price contract delivery method, which the MBTA claimed allowed the project budget and timeline to get out of control.

While many states and municipalities are embracing design–​build, New York City is taking its time in coming around to permitting the use of the delivery method on public projects. Despite design–​build successes like the new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge and the $550 million Kosciuszko Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens, some city officials have expressed concern that they would not be able to control the project as well as they can with a more traditional process.

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