SBD/October 19, 2011/Facilities

Mesa, Cubs Agree To 30-Year Deal On New $99M Spring Training Facility

City of Mesa insists the Cubs will pay any expenses exceeding $84M for the stadium

The city of Mesa, Ariz., has "approved key agreements that let the city and the Chicago Cubs design and build a new $99 million training complex, despite a last-minute protest the arrangements are a bad deal for taxpayers," according to Garin Groff of the EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Mesa now has a "30-year deal in place for building the stadium, managing it with the Cubs and selling parcels to the team for the private Wrigleyville West entertainment complex." The city “insists the Cubs will pay any expenses exceeding” $84M for the stadium and $15M for related projects. Scottsdale-based Hunt Construction Group “has become the contractor,” and Mesa’s contract with Hunt “differs from how many projects were managed for decades.” Instead of “choosing contractors by the lowest bid when design is complete, Mesa picked Hunt while design is underway because of its experience.” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said that he “found similar arrangements cut construction costs when the builder can work with the architects early on to identify more efficient designs.” Hunt was “awarded $380,000 for the design phase of the project,” and will “seek competitive bids on numerous subcontract jobs.” The Mesa City Council expects to break ground “by spring or summer of 2012 and open for spring training” in ’14. The Cubs must have “at least 10,000 square feet of restaurant or retail space by opening day to secure development rights on up to 6 acres of land.” The team also “must begin that much development every 18 months to keep having the first option, or other developers can submit bids” (EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE, 10/18).

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