Corte Madera hires a contractor for the reconstruction of the Town Hall
Corte Madera officials selected a Richmond-based contractor for the City Hall reconstruction project, despite a last-minute protest from a competing bidder.
The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Alten Construction Inc. on a $12.47 million contract. The contractor was selected from six applicants.
On the morning of the board meeting, Holly Construction, which submitted the second-best bid, appealed citing irregularities in its competitor’s bid proposal. After review by city staff and the city attorney, officials stood by their recommendation to hire Alten Construction, public works director RJ Suokko said.
“They have all the qualifications and skills you would expect from an entrepreneur,” Suokko said. “And the numbers well below estimates are an exciting thing to see.”
Alten Construction submitted a basic offer of $10.4 million. The engineer’s estimate was $13.25 million. With that in mind, city staff decided to include a solar PV system and battery backup system in the contract, City Manager Todd Cusimano said. The system was identified as an add-on item in the RFP.
“It’s a big, memorable day for us,” Cusimano said.
“We’re really excited about the lowest responsible bidder, Alten Construction,” he said, adding that the company is responsible for public safety centers in San Rafael and Sausalito, among other projects. “Alten is very well known to staff and the department.
The council unanimously agreed last year to tear down and rebuild the town hall instead of trying to save the aging building. The decision was influenced by community feedback which noted that renovating an older building could result in unforeseen costs and ongoing maintenance.
The Planning Commission approved the design for City Hall in June. The project calls for a two-story building of 11,000 square feet with council chambers to accommodate 95 people. The project would include options for net zero energy and net zero carbon.
Suokko said staff decided to upgrade the project from “Risk Category” 2 to a Category 3 building, which requires additional seismic reinforcement. The upgrade cost $15,000 in additional design costs and is expected to add about $50,000 to construction costs, Suokko said.
“It seemed like a smart thing to do considering our intention is to serve the community in times of need,” Suokko said. “Power outages, forest fires, whatever it is, we want it to be a resource.”
Cusimano said staff have earmarked $1 million to equip the new city hall with furniture, technological equipment and a digital security system.
Bob Alten, owner of Alten Construction, told the board that he was delighted to join us.
“We don’t need the project, we want the project,” he said. “I can guarantee you that you will have a great project.”
Councilman Bob Ravasio was all in.
“It’s clearly a well-known company, they’re local, they’ve done a lot of great buildings around the county,” Ravasio said.
Councilman Eli Beckman said, “The need of residents and the city is clear.
Demolition is expected to begin next month. Construction is expected to take 14 to 16 months.
City officials moved the municipal offices to 240 Tamal Vista Blvd., an office complex, until the project was completed.