SBJ/February 28 - March 6, 2005/Facilities

360 Architecture passes on bid for Nationals ballpark project

360 Architecture didn’t submit a bid to design the Washington Nationals’ $435 million ballpark project last week after officials determined that the job wasn’t in the firm’s best interests to pursue, senior principal Bill Johnson said.

The decision was an extremely difficult one to make after senior principal Brad Schrock spent the last two years working for the District of Columbia to help select a site for the MLB facility and plan for development around the ballpark, Johnson said.

Teams bidding to design the Washington Nationals' new ballpark:


1. Stadia 3 Design Collaboration: David M. Schwarz Architects with Devrouax & Purnell and Rosser International
2. HNTB with Pei Cobb Freed and Devrouax & Purnell
3. Rafel Vinoly Architects with Devrouax & Purnell, DLR Group and Leo A Daly
4. DC Baseball Associates: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill with Devrouax & Purnell, Turner-Meis & Associates, Delon-Hampton & Associates and ReStl Designers
5. Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects with Ellerbe Becket, Devrouax & Purnell and Janet Marie Smith
6. HOK Sport with Devrouax & Purnell
7. HKS with McKissick & McKissick and Lance Bailey & Associates
8. EwingCole with Shalom Baranes Associates
Source: SBJ sources
“We set the right course by acting as the site planner,” he said. “If the task at hand is not a good fit, however, the right thing to do is to pull away. None of us are happy about it.”

360 had in fact withdrawn its “very small, ballpark-specific” role as a consultant on the Anacostia waterfront development project about a month ago, after the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission sent out the ballpark design proposal, Johnson said. “There was nothing in the RFP that addressed the issue,” he said.

The commission finally decided it was a conflict of interest for the firm to remain on the job if it were going to bid the design contract, Johnson said.

360 officials felt they couldn’t meet the commission’s challenging requirements concerning local, small and disadvantaged business enterprises, and district residency, and still do a high-quality job while working on other projects, he said.

Kansas City-based 360 has about 100 employees and isn’t as big as Ellerbe Becket, HOK Sport and HNTB, its chief competitors. The company prides itself on having principal-level involvement on every project, Johnson said.

“The district has asked for an unprecedented amount of local participation,” Johnson said. “We felt strongly that we were not going to be able to perform at the level the project demanded and do the work we expect to do. It’s a great project, but we didn’t want to overextend ourselves.”

District officials said privately they were disappointed with 360’s decision.

There were eight bids, and the number of members on each design team ranged from two (HOK Sport and Devrouax & Purnell) to five (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, D&P, Turner-Meis Associates, Delon-Hampton & Associates and ReStl Designers).

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