Bids rejected for interim parking at theater site

The Redevelopment Agency rejected two bids for construction of interim parking at the site of the proposed Hamilton Street amphitheater. A new bid could be awarded by next month.

The two bidders — Berto Construction and Gingerelli Bros. — were about $500,000 apart, one reason why they were rejected, according to City Engineer James Housten, though seven contractors purchased bid packets. (Gingerelli Bros. earlier this year was awarded the $5.825-million bid for the Hamilton Stage project at the Bell Building.)

When the Redevelopment Agency decided several months ago to put the amphitheater on hold and instead build an interim parking lot at the Hamilton Street site, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined that a different permit would be required, Housten said. Meetings with state officials, however, have led to a more favorable recommendation, he said, with the process and cost to a less than if the agency had followed the DEP’s original edict and see another permit.

Part of the bid included removing remediated soil, which Housten said will be tested and determined exactly what it contains and how much there is. That process might provide for less expensive bids when the project goes out to bid next week. He hopes to have a resolution to award a new contract at the agency’s August meeting.

Early this year, the Redevelopment Agency decided to delay building the amphitheater and instead construct an interim parking lot to accommodate the Hamilton Stage. Commissioners also held off on acquiring three remaining homes on Hamilton Street that were slated to eventually become parking areas.