Savannah City Council sets Guaranteed Maximum Price for arena project

Savannah City Council sets Guaranteed Maximum Price for arena project

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Another big milestone for the arena project in Savannah, as City Council sets the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the project.

The GMP for the new arena is proposed to be no greater than around $147.6 million.

Project managers and city staff gave council an update Thursday on the new arena project timeline, showing a time-lapse of how the massive structure will take shape. In the next few weeks, vertical construction will start.

The goal is to have the first events inside in the first few months of 2022.

To get to that point, council has to vote to release contracts for the project, and set the Guaranteed Maximum Price, which is about $147.6 million. That’s mainly construction costs.

The project total is $165 million, funded by SPLOST dollars.

3rd District Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan kicked off discussion following the presentation calling into question the local disadvantaged business enterprise participation. Right now, the projected DBE participation is around 26 percent.

Wilder-Bryan asked for even better local participation.

Mayor Van Johnson also brought up his desire to see work opportunities on the project extended to returning citizens, continuing his push to have jobs available to previously jailed people. Mayor Johnson proposed delaying the vote on the GMP today to make sure that the concerns council brought up in today’s work session were addressed.

The City Manager reminded Council how costly delays can be.

“To keep this project on schedule, and to delay it month by month, is probably somewhere between five to 700,000 dollars in fees, plus the impact that it has on the issuance of the trade packages,” Savannah City Manager Pat Monahan said.

The Guaranteed Maximum Price for the arena is for the arena only, not for any projects in the surrounding Canal District.

The majority of council ultimately voted to approve setting the Guaranteed Maximum Price of the new arena, but also asked the city manager and staff to find a way to include more local workers on the project.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.