It’s back to square one for the city on its plans to build a home at 2070 Dowd Avenue.
As part of its program to around the city, officials had hoped to get a bid for less than the $200,000 federal Neighborhood Stabilization grant awarded to pay for the project.
But the lone bid on the project wasn’t even close to the city’s projections.
The bid came in at $275,000 — or $175 per square foot. The city had targeted $119 per square foot.
“The bid came in higher than we expected,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “We’re meeting with our architect this week to talk about how to go at this one again.
“The city hasn’t constructed too many houses, and we had an opportunity with some of these federal funds we’re going to use.”
The city demolished the previous home on the property, noting it as a “persistent blight” on the neighborhood. The Dowd Avenue property is that the city administration is interested in fixing up.
“We’re learning as we go and we’re going to get better at it — and this was part of our learning curve,” Siley said, adding that the plans will be tweaked and put out for bid again. “We’re still committed to this project.”
Mayor Michael Summers echoed Siley’s thoughts.
“We’ve got to rethink this,” he said. “Is there something about our design? Is there a better way to do this? We’re back to the drawing boards — disappointed.
“But, we’re back to the drawing boards.”