Saturday, January 05, 2008

ESDC on the way to hiring Owner's Rep for Construction Oversight

It may seem a little late to oversee all demolition and somewhat soon to oversee building construction, but the Empire State Development Corporation last month issued an RFP for an Owners Representative for Construction Oversight.

The Owner’s Rep, according to the RFP, will act as ESDC’s "eyes and ears” on site during construction of the Project... More particularly, the Owner’s Rep will help ESDC identify, address and investigate risks associated with construction activities, including; demolition, site and civil construction, rail yard construction, and construction of an arena and 16 mixed use buildings.

Responses are due Monday, January 7. While the ESDC states that construction is "expected to continue through at least 2016"--others have estimated it could take 20 years--the agency says that it's "uncertain" if the Owner's Rep would be required for the entire construction period.

Announced in May

The initial contract would be for a minimum of two years. And while the issuance of the RFP seven months after the position was announced in May might appear to be a delay, there apparently was no push for an immediate hire. "The plan has always been to have that entity on board before construction of the arena and other buildings begin," said ESDC spokesman A.J. Carter.

Some "construction activities" such as demolition, however, have already begun. It's unclear if any construction of buildings can begin before lawsuits are cleared, but rail yard construction activities are in full swing.

Two Owner's Reps

This job, Carter confirmed, is the same as the Owner's Representative for Construction Activities, as mentioned in the May 7 press release regarding several new oversight measures.

ESDC has also hired an Owner’s Representative Mitigation Monitor to "ensure that [developer Forest City Ratner] complies with certain measures that have been incorporated into the Project to avoid adverse environmental impacts."

Carter explained, "The Owner’s Representative/Mitigation Monitor ensures that the developer complies with all the requirements of the EIS [Environmental Impact Statement]. The Owner’s Representative/Construction Oversight oversees the construction for the benefit of ESDC. Their responsibilities do not overlap."

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