Design work on hotel awaits state money — project manager Griffin at NAC11

Hotel project manager Richard Griffin said at  NAC11 (the City’s downtown ‘neighborhood advisory committee’ or citizen forum which meets monthly at Brewers Alley) Tuesday 17th that work on detailed design and site plans cannot begin until it is known how much state funding is available. Last summer the City’s Historic Preservation Commission was told plans for the hotel would be submitted November/December, allowing HPC review to begin. A submission to the City Planning Commission would not be far behind, the project manager Griffin said.

But at the NAC11 meeting Tuesday night Griffin said detailed design for City permitting cannot even begin until the ‘budget’ is known. Design work is “expensive” he said and cannot be done multiple times.

“We’ve got to get it right the first time,” he said.  It was a “long project” Griffin said, a reference to it now being about eight years since the first feasibility study was commissioned. And “complex,” a reference to the many parties involved, several of them reluctant and dropping out.

Griffin said nothing at the meeting about the Hogan administration budget or the decision by the Department of Housing and Community Development to reject the City’s application for $1 million under the strategic demolition fund program.

He did in responding to questions say the project may have to be ‘re-scoped’ his term for scaling it back. This would probably reduce the size of both the hotel and the conference center but maintaining the ratio of rooms to meeting space.

The City’s December 2015 agreement or MOU with the developer put ‘pre-opening costs’ which encompasses design and project management at $761k (Appendix C,) two-thirds to be covered by Plamondon, one-third by the City.

Appendix D listed Development Costs Incurred to Date, as of 2015/09/22 by developer Plamondon at $518k. That included land purchase costs of $247k, engineering, geotech, survey,historic and enviro review $83k, design including renderings $70k, feasibility studies $13k, project management $73k, legal $31k.

The City’s Development costs as of 2015/09/15 were $365k including MuniCap financial consulting and Jones Lang LaSalle MOU work $267k, Crossroads market feasibility study and Walker parking $45k, lobbying in Annapolis $50k.

Appendix E suggested further development or pre-development (the terms are used interchangeably in this project) costs for Plamondon and the City of $485k to get to preliminary site plan approval  with design and renderings the largest item at $110k, historic documentation $90k, project management $90k, more market feasibility study $75k, legal work etc $45k, geotech, engineering, survey, environmental, landscape $50k, more for land purchase $25k.

Appendix F was a Preliminary Milestone Schedule and it had City Entitlements and Design/Development Press as commencing November 1, 2015. Since it came after three ‘milestones’ in 2016 that seems to have meant November 1, 2016. Or else it was an older document not properly updated.


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