Sarasota News Leader

01/31/2014

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The Sarasota City Commissioners may swoon into "sticker shock" Monday, Feb. 3, when the new cost estimate for the State Street parking garage is announced. It is $11.4 million, or about $4 million more than city staff originally budgeted for it in 2009. The new figure is roughly 50 percent more the original estimate of $7.3 million. A staff memo cites several reasons for the price jump: "Site constraints … an added fifth parking deck … the addition of firewalls … escalation of construction costs … an upgrade of streetscape standards … [and] the use of a quality architectural facade" were mentioned. The $11.4 million tab "is conservative in nature, does not reflect possible value engi- neering, and does not reflect possible savings from competitive contractor bids," the memo says. In other words, the actual price might be cheaper. The city is under a contractual obligation with the developers of Pineapple Square to finish the parking structure, which plans show will contain 399 spaces. The site is narrow, which will confine parking to one side of the build- ing. The ground floor will be designated for commercial purposes. An architect's rendering shows the State Street parking garage and retail structure. Image courtesy City of Sarasota THE POTENTIAL $11.4 MILLION COST OF THE STATE STREET GARAGE PROJECT AND HOW TO ASSESS THE CITY MANAGER'S JOB PERFORMANCE WILL BE ON THE CITY COMMISSION'S FEB. 3 AGENDA A SHOCKING ESTIMATE AND AN EVALUATION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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