Rapid City Council supports $130M arena

South Dakota– Rapid City Council members support the construction of a new, $130 million arena. The council will issue $110 million in sales tax revenue bonds and lease certificates of participation to fund the construction. The city currently has about $25 million in reserve for an initial payment. The council was asked to consider either building a new arena or renovating and remodeling the existing Barnett Arena, which has functional, life safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues.


An updated feasibility study shows that the operating income for the new 12,000- to 13,000-seat arena would increase by $2.8 million annually. Construction costs are estimated between $130 and $135 million, but with interest, that figure would be closer to $180 million.


The city lost about $700,000 on a design project during the last consideration of building a new arena in 2015. The city plans to hold off on a final decision to build a new arena because the community can petition for a public vote. Two-thousand signatures will be required for a public vote to be issued. The deadline for petition, is March 20. If enough signatures are gathered, a public vote will be set for June 5. If a public vote occurs and the project is voted down, the city plans to go with the Barnett Arena renovation.

NYCHA issues RFP for mixed-income apartments

Seeking to generate funds that would go toward renovations of municipally owned housing developments throughout New York City, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) officials have released a request for proposals (RFP) for a mixed-income residential building. The project will allow the selected developer to include 150 market-rate apartments in the 300-unit building.

The new apartment tower will be constructed on East 92nd Street in Manhattan on a parcel currently occupied by a city playground.

The RFP states that the developer will be required to include a 5,000-square-foot community center, a new playground to replace the one being lost and parking spaces. Also in the project’s description is a wish list from residents of amenities they’d like to see in the new building, including gardening areas, an affordable gym, a small business incubator or job training center and a health facility.

The project is a part of the NYCHA’s NextGen program, which is intended to raise funding that could be used to make repairs at other NYCHA developments. Proposals are due Sept. 30.

New York State to use design-build for Javits Center

The New York Convention Center Development Corporation (CCDC) last week issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a project to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The  RFQ process is seeking to identify developers for the $1 billion design-build project and specifies respondents must have worked on similar projects worth more than $100 million within the past five years.

“Government shouldn’t be in the construction business,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “We’re all in favor of design-build. Bring in a private-sector partner. You build it, you develop it and God bless you. Time is of the essence. This is not going to be government process. It’s going to be private-sector timelines, private-sector incentives.”

CCDC officials will select three developers to move onto the next phase of the project and plan to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) in June. The project includes expanding the convention center by 1.2 million square feet and building a roof terrace for outdoor events. Responses are due May 10, and construction is set to begin in the fall.

Congress passed a budget – what does that mean?

Congressional spending bill lifts ban on oil exports, heavily funds construction

As the year progressed toward its end, members of Congress began to get things done, big things — like pass a transportation bill and approve a budget that keeps the lights on and the doors open. Two weeks ago, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a $1.14 trillion spending bill for Fiscal Year 2016 (which began in September). It will allow the federal government to remain open and operating, and that means big things will be happening throughout the nation in 2016.

Included in the bill, for instance, was the repeal of the 40-year ban on oil exports and five-year extensions of tax credits for wind and solar energy. The General Services Administration’s budget tripled to $1.6 billion, including $948 million worth of new federal courthouse construction projects, and the Department of Veterans Affairs saw its construction budget double to $1.2 billion.

The new budget also devotes $2.8 billion to rural development programs and another $36.7 billion in loan authorizations for rural communities. This funding will pay for basic infrastructure that aids those communities in upgrading their housing, electrification and telecommunication projects.

The spending bill, especially when considered along with the passage of the highway bill at the beginning of the month, is important news for the nation’s construction industry. Jimmy Christianson, a government affairs representative for the Associated General Contractors of America, said, “It will be a much better fiscal year in 2016 for construction than it was in 2015, and even better compared to some years prior.”

The funding for the courthouse projects will affect a number of different federal judicial districts. The new courthouse in Nashville, Tenn., has been planned for more than 20 years and ranks first among on the Federal Judiciary’s priority list. The $182 million project was funded fully. In San Antonio, the Western District of Texas will get a new courthouse as well, after making use of a building that originally was constructed to be a theater for the 1968 World’s Fair before being retrofitted to stand in as a courthouse. Other cities that will benefit from the funding include Toledo, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Des Moines, Iowa; Greenville, S.C.; Anniston, Ala.; and Savannah, Ga.