August 22, 2018

With tight timeframe, Worcester Redevelopment Authority to begin WooSox seeking ballpark design, construction services

Photo/Grant Welker Graphics/Mitchell Hayes
An aerial view of the Canal District site, at center, where Worcester and Pawtucket Red Sox officials say an investment of more than $200 million on a ballpark and mixed-use development will reshape a part of the city. In this view looking south, I-290 runs along the upper left corner, while Madison Street begins in the lower right corner, running to the left.
Photo | Courtesy
The proposed stadium site in Worcester's Canal District.

The Worcester Redevelopment Authority, the city body that will be overseeing the $101-million Canal District redevelopment project anchored by the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate is pledging to move quickly to meet the project's hasty timelines.

The WRA began that process Wednesday morning, approving requests for services for an owner's project manager (OPM) and design services for the project, which will be developed jointly by the city and soon-to-be Worcester Red Sox.

Chief Development Office Michael Traynor prefaced the request as not a presupposition of the City Council's vote to approve the massive undertaking.

"We're starting this process because there's a timeframe for advertising and receiving proposals," he said.

According to the letter of intent signed by the parties last Friday, those steps must be taken less than two weeks after the document was signed. An OPM, of which the city and team agree,must be secured by Oct. 10 this year.

City Council must approve the borrowing of $101 million to fund the project. Construction must be started by July 1, and the ballpark must be complete in time for opening day in April 2021.

At the council's Tuesday meeting, City Manager Edward Augustus said he wants the borrowing to be approved by the middle of September.

Traynor said the city and team are seeking a construction manager at risk contract, which requires a construction manager to complete a project within a maximum price range to ensure the project stays within budget.

The WRA briefly discussed hiring local companies to complete the project, but much of the discussion focused around ramping up the city's work to build the stadium as quickly as possible.

Traynor even suggested the WRA meet every other week rather than the current schedule of once a month.

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