Renderings show a potential concept for Calder Plaza renovations. Renderings show a potential concept for Calder Plaza renovations. COURTESY RENDERING

Grand Rapids DDA selects Pioneer Construction to manage Calder Plaza renovations

BY Thursday, January 10, 2019 09:20am

GRAND RAPIDS — Pioneer Construction Co. will serve as construction manager for the city’s renovation of VandenBerg Plaza, known commonly as Calder Plaza.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted unanimously on Wednesday to have the Grand Rapids-based Pioneer handle pre-construction management and logistics for the project. The authority voted not to exceed $36,000 for pre-construction services to support phase one of the renovations.

“We saw the value of bringing a construction manager on board early on in the process,” said Stephanie Wong, project manager for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the organization that administers the DDA and is working on the project along with the city.

The current project, including a renovation of the southeast edge of the plaza, is phase one in a master plan for the site. In August, the DDA approved a contract with Grand Rapids-based architectural and engineering firm Progressive AE Inc. The scope of that work includes design and construction documents for a cafe, pavilion with an outdoor stage and landscaping.

DGRI issued an RFQ in October and interviewed four firms before deciding on Pioneer.

For a few years, officials have discussed renovating the civic square, located along Ottawa Avenue in front of the Kent County Administration Building and Grand Rapids City Hall. A process facilitated by DGRI, Kent County and the city yielded several goals, the main concept being that the plaza should be more inviting and comfortable for people to use every day.

Pioneer’s work will include cost estimates, vendor studies for non typical elements of the project, logistics planning for phases of construction, construction schedule, pre-qualifying and soliciting bidders and preparing bid packages/work scope development.

Phase one construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2019, according to DGRI.

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