Final total for new Grosse Pointe City buildings comes in under budget

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 31, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Despite challenges like the pandemic, a rise in construction and materials costs, and erecting a new Department of Public Works building on the old site instead of moving it to Detroit, Grosse Pointe City administrators were happy to report that the costs for new facilities came in under budget.

Grosse Pointe City Manager Pete Dame said the full project came in at a price tag of $12,627,938.16. The City entered into a guaranteed maximum price contract with Partners in Architecture in 2018. According to the terms of that agreement, if the contracting team of PIA and DeMaria could bring the project in under the maximum price, the City would retain 60% of the savings, and PIA and DeMaria would receive 40% of the savings. With a savings of more than $160,000 overall, Dame said the City was able to reduce its cost for the new facilities by $96,676.

“The process to get to this point has been five years in the making,” Dame told the Grosse Pointe City Council during a meeting June 21. “We came in under budget on all three of the projects.”

Besides building new DPW and Public Safety Department facilities — the latter of which is now located on Mack Avenue — the project also involved converting the historical former public safety building into a new, more secure municipal courtroom and court offices. The City Council uses the courtroom for its meetings. A voter-approved bond was used to pay for the projects.

“Job well done,” City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. said. “They’re three beautiful buildings. You overcame a global pandemic (to complete them).”

Other officials also praised City leaders for making the new facilities happen. City Councilman Daniel Williams thanked Dame, current and former City mayors, and current and former department heads for getting them through the hurdles it took to make all of this work happen.

“The projects turned out beautifully,” City Councilwoman Maureen Juip said.

City Councilman Christopher Walsh said talk of creating new facilities dates back at least 20 years.

“It’s monumental that we were able to get this done,” Walsh said. “You should have a lot of pride that our community was able to pull this together. I know it was, at many times, a contentious endeavor … but we got it done.”

Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak said City staff was “forward-thinking … on all of these projects,” adding that the new, state-of-the-art public safety facility has actually helped to attract new officers to the department.

The council voted unanimously in favor of final change orders to the projects — including the cost reduction — June 21.

“I’m very proud that we got the buildings we wanted,” Dame said. “They’re done very well.”