Suffolk to Commence Building $75M Garage Facilities at New Marlins Stadium

Thanks to the City of Miami's recent approval of the sale of $92 million in bonds, construction of parking facilities for the new $500 million Florida Marlins Stadium moves forward with Boston-based Suffolk Construction tapped by the city to oversee the $75 million project.

March 1, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user (le) doo

Thanks to the City of Miami’s recent approval of the sale of $92 million in bonds, construction of parking facilities for the new $500 million Florida Marlins Stadium moves forward with Boston-based Suffolk Construction tapped by the city to oversee the $75 million project.

“We thought it would be a $94 million construction cost for the project, but we committed to $75 million; the market drove the reduction in cost,” Tim Sterling, a Suffolk vice president, told CPE. Suffolk, which competed against 11 other bidders for the job, will manage construction of the stadium’s parking accommodations, including two six-story garages, two five-story garages and six surface lots, accounting for an aggregate 5,700 parking spaces. The contract also involves development of a small amount of retail space.

Suffolk will have to carefully coordinate its schedule and activities with stadium builder Hunt Construction, which broke ground on the 928,000-square-foot 37,000 seat project in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood last July. Miami-Dade County is providing the majority of the financing for the stadium–located on 17 acres of the historic 42-acre Orange Bowl site in–with the City of Miami and Marlins Stadium Developer L.L.C. also making contributions.

Financing efforts for the construction of the Marlins Stadium’s garage segment ran into a few hiccups, which is hardly uncommon these days. Real estate industry players are hoping that small hints of an economic upturn in the U.S. will have a positive impact on construction activity. However, it will take some time for the construction industry to recover. Despite signals of the U.S. economy’s impending revival, overall nonresidential construction spending is on track to decrease by 13.4 percent this year, according to a new report by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In the amusement/recreation sector, specifically, AIA expects spending to decline an estimated 12.9 percent percent.

“All signs indicate that 2010 is not going to be a spectacular year, but with regard to financing, we think we’ve hit bottom,” Sterling said. “We look for 2010 to be a year of stabilization. In 2011, we’ll begin to see some growth, although it will be a very slow growth period over the next few years.” AIA predicts that nonresidential construction spending will increase 1.8 percent in 2011, and spending in the amusement/recreation sector will rise 4.4 percent.