Friday, August 24, 2012

Latest consultant's report: arena on schedule for "substantial completion" September 5; no mention of challenge in preparing for operations

The Barclays Center arena is still on track for substantial completion on September 5, with a temporary certificate of occupancy, based on the latest report from Merritt & Harris, the construction monitor for the arena bond trustee. Several components of the arena are targeted to be completed by August 29.

There was no mention of any challenge in preparing the arena for operation; Forest City Ratner Executive VP MaryAnne Gilmartin once said in an affidavit that "it takes at least three to four months to commission an arena like Barclays Center--i.e., to test and refine the various buildings systems and the various operations (such as security and food services) that must be performing properly and efficiently." That meant the arena had to be completed by early July 2012--a date already in the past.

The Merritt & Harris report dated 8/7/12 and made available yesterday, is based on a 6/26/12 visit and documents made available on 7/20/12. (There's a bit of a time lag. Future site observations were scheduled for July 26, August 23, and September 27--the latter a day before arena opening.)

Manpower

The report notes 575 people working at the arena and 62 at the Transit Connection. (The railyard isn't part of the bonds, and thus omitted from the report. Presumably the next report will indicate a larger cohort of workers.
Project cost: $845 million-plus

The total costs are below. Note $617.3 million in hard costs for arena and transit connection construction, and $192.85 million for soft costs, plus $34.7 million in additional costs. That's nearly $845 million.

That doesn't add up to a "$1 billion arena," but omitted are costs for the railyard and land purchases.



Construction progress charts

Based on the Construction Progress chart, which compares cash flow to projected progress, the arena is on schedule for a final completion date, including punch list work, of 6/30/13. As I've pointed out, the graphic was adjusted to eliminate delays.


Photos from the report, taken June 26


The transit connection

Below is the graphic regarding the transit connection progress, then excerpts from the current and previous reports regarding the (inconsistent) explanation for delays.




From 1/12/11 report
From 6/30/11 report

From 2/6/12 report
From 5/8/12 report
From 8/7/12 report

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