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Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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FEATURE: It’s a GO! Savannah City Council Approves Arena Construction Manager

Category: Local Govts & Politics


By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

September 14, 2018 - The City of Savannah City Council voted Thursday to award the construction manager contract for the new Savannah Arena to AECOM Hunt.  The vote was delayed by two weeks to review increased fees from what the Council had previously understood would be the rate.

The $11,166,016 dollar contract to AECOM Hunt, an Orlando-based company, includes managing and sub-contracting the construction of the new Savannah Arena. “With a projected cost of $140 million dollars, AECOM Hunt is charged with selecting local businesses to sub-contract projects from dry wall to railing installation,” according to city officials.

AECOM Hunt will work with the design firm Perkins + Will to design and construct the planned 269,000 sq. ft. arena project that will be built on city-owned property near the intersection of Stiles Avenue and West Gwinnett Street.

“The residents have expressed their desire to see the arena built as soon as possible,” said Peter Shonka, the City’s Arena Project Executive Director. “City staff is working extremely hard to get our project management teams under contract as quickly as possible to make this arena project happen.”

The method of procurement used for this contract was the request for the proposal (RFP), which evaluates criteria in addition to cost. The criteria evaluated for this RFP were relevant firm experience, team experience and qualifications, project understanding, approach to project management, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation, local vendor participation, and fees. The City received three proposals from nationally-known firms.

AECOM has proposed 25% of the arena contract will be sub-contracted to local and disadvantaged businesses. With the Arena project projected to cost $140 million, disadvantaged and local businesses will have the opportunity to compete for an estimated $35 million dollars of sub-contracted arena construction projects, according to Shonka.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2019, with preliminary site clearing beginning as early as this winter.

More information about the Savannah Arena project can be found at

The new Arena is part of the City’s Savannah Forward strategic plan #NeighborhoodRevitalization that includes revitalization of the city’s Westside, and ‘connecting’ the Westside to the Historic District.

Included in the overall projects in this designated “Canal District” will be a new municipal government complex to allow for the consolidating of departments that have been scattered around the city in various older buildings for decades.  The city is currently renting space on Chatham Parkway in order to sell-off some of these city properties. 

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