October 12, 2018

Board approves $545K ballpark contract for Skanska USA

Image/Courtesy
A rendering of a new stadium for the soon-to-be Worcester Red Sox and a related mixed-use development. The total $240 million project is expected to open starting in 2021.

Construction management firm Skanska USA has been chosen as the owner's project manager for the $90 million ballpark in Worcester for the new home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Worcester Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor told the Worcester Redevelopment Authority Friday morning that Skanska USA, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Sweden's Skanska, was one of eight proposals to the city.

The WRA voted unanimously to award a $545,650 contract for initial services to the multinational firm.

Along with Pawtucket Red Sox officials, city officials selected four of eight firms to interview. Out of those four emerged Skanska with the best proposal, Traynor said.

The next step is crafting a process by which the team and city's project managers can work alongside Skanska, Traynor said.

According to Worcester Department of Public Works Commissioner Paul Moosey, the city's team first selected the bidder with what they deemed to be the best fit for the project and then negotiated a price.

"That was a little contentious," he said of the negotiations.

The selection of the OPM comes two days after a deadline imposed by an Aug. 17 agreement signed between the city and team.

An architect will also soon be chosen, as the city's Designer Selection Committee has interviewed seven firms this week.

Every facet of the project must move in unison to begin construction by next July so the future Worcester Red Sox can begin play for the 2021 season.

The overall $240 million project includes hotels, apartments and retail space on vacant land in the Canal District. The project will be anchored by the ballpark with tax revenue from the mixed-use development projected to cover the $65 million in debt the city will incur.

The city is borrowing an overall $101 million for the ballpark project, but the team will pay $6 million in equity for the project and another $30 million in rent payments over a 30-year lease, per the letter of intent announced in August.

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