That sick feeling when an RFP goes awry

Colorado Convention Center master plan info Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 9.21.43 AM

I’ve been catching up on news in Denver since I returned yesterday, and the Colorado Convention Center situation has continued to attract my attention.

There have been numerous stories on the problem: an official of the owner’s representative, or program manager, Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow, allegedly gave information to Mortenson Construction, one of the three construction companies in the running for the convention center expansion. The city has terminated the program manager’s contract.

For anyone who has ever worked on the response to a Request for Proposal, no matter how small in terms of money (like even a dog house),  communication is considered verboten unless all competitors receive the same information. And this is a $233 million giant of a project. (My previous job included preparing RFP responses, and I learned that the process needs to remain totally virginal.)

Below is the link from a new story in ENR, a bible of construction news; the writer is Mark Shaw, the editor-in-chief of ENR Mountain States, one of ENR’s regional magazines. Aside from the sort of sick feeling I have had reading any of the stories that have come out since early December, the expansion is now going to take more time. Which means more expense, and the price tag on the expansion probably will go up (which already happened last year).

This also means that delays will ensue. Shaw’s story ends with this: “Construction on the convention center expansion was slated to begin next year, with completion targeted for late 2022. The city has not yet established a new timeline for the project.”

Here is the link to the ENR story, as well as a link to a Denver Post story from June 2017, which reported that the $104 million expansion at that point had climbed to a $233 million expansion.


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