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Lakewood Rejects Bid to Build House

Only one contractor bids on the project to build a home on city-owned property at 2070 Dowd Avenue that was deemed a nuisance in 2009.

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.”

Pat Ballasch July 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM
“We’re learning as we go and we’re going to get better at it — and this was part of our learning curve,” Siley, OUCH. Federal or local , this is taxpayer money at risk. Please recognize improving housing is like a war. A comprehensive plan is necessary with a focus on greatest and best use of available funds. I'd like to know our local government is effectively managing risk & playing heads up ball. Does the city have a web site with a overall housing plan? Everyone needs to be aware aging housing needs lots of attention. Healthy housing is part of a vibrant city.
Pat Ballasch July 28, 2011 at 01:06 PM
I need to add, If there's someone I have confidence in getting housing right, it's our development director, Dru Siley.. I prefer that all city government employees have a good plan for what needs to be done and keep citizens informed of that plan. Without a plan there's no accountability. That's a good part of what got our city in it's present financial position.
Barb Mattis July 30, 2011 at 02:24 AM
What is the bid process and where are the notifications posted? Can people still submit proposals or is it too late for this project?

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