Local contractors along with those from as far away as Pittsburgh turned out Monday to meet with the Palm Beach County Convention Center Hilton’s developers.
The Related Cos. and Coastal Construction Group held an informational meeting that drew about 100 attendees from companies of all sizes who want to get in on business opportunities during construction. The building of the 403-room hotel with two ballrooms, 13 meeting rooms, spa, restaurant and more will create the need for everything from drywall to landscaping, irrigation, plumbing, heavy construction equipment and office supplies.
Construction is slated to begin in December or January and be completed in the third quarter of 2015, Related Vice President David Harrison said. The project has been in the works since 2007.
“It’s a decent-sized hotel,” said John Patrick Travers, executive vice president of Allegheny Millwork in Lawrence, Pa., outside Pittsburgh.
Travers and others such as GG Harrison, president of Designer’s Speciality Millwork in Fort Lauderdale, said they have worked with Related, Coastal, or both on other projects.
Francois Thomas, principal engineer of Tierra South Florida, a West Palm Beach-based geotechnical engineering firm, and Franklin Crofutt of the video surveillance firm Security 101 in West Palm Beach, said they’re glad to have the large-scale project in their own backyard.
Related’s Harrison estimated the project’s cost at $65 million in “hard construction.” Of course, there are other expenses such as artwork, furniture and window treatments. Hilton officials will review what Related is proposing, and by December, Related expects to have two model hotel rooms completed. Hilton will then most likely make changes.
Harrison said the hotel, which will be connected to the convention center with walkways, will work in sync with the center and create a piazza.
Tonya Johnson, director at the Palm Beach County Office of Small Business Assistance, said the county is requiring the project to include 15 percent small businesses. The businesses need to be pre-qualified. Go to pbcgov.com/osba/ for more information.
There’s a $150 fee for a three-year small business certification, which takes 90 days to obtain. For $300, the approval can be expedited and takes about 10 days, Johnson said.
All subcontractors must be pre-qualified with Coastal to bid on the hotel project, Coastal officials George Adornato and Brian Lacusky said.
Another meeting for business people who want to meet with the developers is scheduled for 3 p.m. today at 560 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.
The construction is expected to create about 1,500 jobs and ultimately the hotel will result in 275 to 350 permanent jobs, said Bruce Lewis, the project’s small business manager.