An Everett, Mass., construction company and a Cincinnati building firm have jointly won a $111.3 million general construction contract to renovate Boston's John B. Hynes Veterans Convention Center.
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority announced the award this week, saying the low bid was submitted by Bond Brothers Inc. of Everett and Dugan & Meyers Construction Co. Inc. of Cincinnati, which formed a joint venture for the project.
Dugan & Meyers recently completed a $90 million expansion of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The construction company also built the $50 million Hartford Life Insurance Co. building in Simsbury, Conn., and the $50 million One State Street office complex in Hartford.
Bond Brothers has constructed several projects in Massachusetts, including Apple Hill, an office and retail complex in Natick.
"The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is committed to completing the new Hynes Convention Center on time and on budget," said Francis X. Joyce, executive director of the authority. He said the authority received six general contracting bids that qualified under Massachusetts' bid process and chose the two companies "because they met all of our strict requirements and submitted the lowest bid."
The Hynes facility closed last April for what is expected to be almost three years of renovations and expansion resulting in 360,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Some demolition work, awarded under separate contract, began in May, and the fully renovated center is expected to reopen in January 1988.
A new convention center is crucial to filling Boston's 11,316 existing hotel rooms, as well as the additional 160 rooms expected to open by 1989 and the estimated 2,900-plus additional rooms projected by the mid-1990s. City officials also hope the expanded center will boost Boston's standing from the 12th-most-popular convention site in the country to a spot among the top five.
Joyce said the Hynes center already is "booked solid from the day we open its doors through the peak convention seasons of 1988," and has "significant bookings" through the year 2002.
He also said 10 percent of the construction work will be subcontracted to minority-owned businesses. "The authority is also committed to increasing the growth opportunities for minority business," he said.
Last year, Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis asked executive agencies to allot 10 percent of all contract work to minority-owned companies. The convention center authority, although not an agency within the executive branch, voluntarily adopted the guidelines in establishing the criteria for the Hynes project.
The closing of the Hynes prompted some creative marketing efforts on the part of Boston's hotels, which had relied on the center to attract convention business and fill their rooms. The Marriott Copley Place, the Westin Hotel and the Sheraton Boston Hotel, for example, began marketing themselves as one convention complex, while other hotels stepped up their sales efforts and set up their own exhibition space to compensate for the loss of the Hynes.
Between 1981 and 1985, there were 4,391 hotel rooms opened in Boston, many in anticipation of an expanded Hynes. There are now 12,884 rooms in Boston and Cambridge, according to the Greater Boston Convention and Tourist Bureau.