Bids opened for Hartford North Bookend project demolition
Demolition could start next month, construction in the spring

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Dec. 19, 2018

Paul Beyer, left, and T.J. Byerly, both with the city of Hartford Engineering Department, work on marking existing utility lines on West State Street on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford. The area on West State Street near Johnson Street will be demolished to make way for an apartment complex.
John Ehlke/Daily News

HARTFORD — Bids were received Tuesday for demolition and other preliminary site work that could allow construction of the planned North Bookend apartment project adjacent to the city’s downtown to begin in the spring.

On Tuesday night, during a special meeting of the Common Council at City Hall, aldermen unanimously approved entering into a threeparty contract with Consolidated Construction of Appleton and Hartford Badger Development of Milwaukee to build an 82-unit apartment building on properties at 23-25 W. State St., 33-35 W. State St., 37 W. State St. and 212 N. Johnson St. on the north end of the downtown area.

Twenty-seven contractors submitted bids for the project, not all for the entire project, some for just portions. Because that the lowest bid for the work was tabulated to be about $501,000.

“Contractors for the project will actually subcontractors for Consolidated Construction who will be the general contractor and project manager,” said City Engineer Jason Schall. “The bid package included the cost for site demolition and new site construction, earth work, site restoration, storm sewer, concrete work, hazardous materials abatement, asphalt pavement and site security fencing. The highest bid was for about $790.000.”

Schall said the portion bid by the city Tuesday should be covered by grants the city has received for the project which total about $649,000.

 “However there are still some costs involved with the environmental clean up. We have to have an environmental consultant on site doing inspection during the removal of the soil and the site clean up,” Schall said. “So there will be contract there that could push the cost up to or above the amount of grant funds.”

But, Mayor Tim Michalak reminded the Council that the city’s responsibility for paying for costs related to the project end when all of the grant funds received for the project are spent.

“We have no other financial responsibility,” Michalak said.

“Will the about $53,000 the city has already spent on the project also be reimbursed? asked Alderman Jeff Turchi asked. Schall said yes.

Alderman Doug Carroll then asked if the city had set itself up with issues of long-term liability with the remaining contaminated soil.

“What do we do with the contaminated soil? Carroll asked.

Schall said the city will have no long term liability because of the contaminated soil.

“Most of the soil out there has contamination low enough that it can be left on site and by putting the hard surface on the top that’s sufficient according to the DNR,” Schall said. “I believe there is about 1,0001,500 cubic yards that will have to be hauled out and that has contamination levels low enough where we can transport it to some of the city owned land in the industrial park and spread it out there.” He said that practice is also DNR approved.

City Administrator Steve Volkert said some work has already begun in the North Bookend Project area last week and this week.

“The development is starting to show some signs of life as crews look to scope laterals leading to the seven buildings in the State Street and Main Street block,” Volkert said. “Crews were working on State Street (last) week going over different utilities that will need to be capped prior to the demolition of the existing buildings which should take place in January. Actual construction of the new building will start in Spring 2019 with tentative completion in Spring 2020.”

Bill Bode of Brayton Management in Brookfield and who has been working with the project’s developer, submitted a modified plan in September to city officials for up to 82 units in the five story building with underground parking and covered parking on the first floor. The structure will be L-shaped and would flank North Main and West State streets.

Bode said the first floor would include more covered parking for tenants, a bike shop, offices for the apartment management personnel and storage units for each of the apartments. He said the second floor would include a game room and a fitness area. Drew said even with adding a fourth floor the building will still be under the city’s building height restriction of 55 feet.

“We feel it will be very attractive and a good addition to the city’s downtown,” City Planner Justin Drew said earlier.

A multi-family development was identified as one of the key catalytic projects to spur downtown development in the city’s Downtown Redevelopment plan which was endorsed by both the Plan Commission and Common Council.

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