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New Hartford ballpark cost estimate: $10.3M over budget


Centerplan Cos. CEO Bob Landino confirms a potential $10.3 million overrun on Dunkin’ Donuts Park, new home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League), and warns of a later opening date.

Last week Hartford city officials asked the developer, Centerplan Cos., and its affiliate DoNo Hartford LLC to provide an update on ballpark progress, as the Hartford Stadium Authority warned that the project was over budget and running late based on developer feed back. Landino confirmed both in a Dec. 23 letter, saying that the city has breached its contract with Centerplan and there needs to be a plan to address cost and scheduling issues. The city, as you might expect, felt blindsided by the information: no change order had been filed with the city (which is handling the actual ballpark construction), and given that the city made it clear there were no funds to cover cost overruns, the issue of more money for the project is surprising. From the Hartford Courant:

An official with Centerplan submitted documents Thursday to members of the authority, the quasi-public group formed to own and finance the ballpark. The records included a revised schedule of anticipated costs to complete the stadium. Centerplan is part of a group of ballpark developers collectively known as DoNo Hartford LLC.

“We need to have dialogue and cooperation with the team and with the city,” Landino said in a telephone message Thursday.

I. Charles Mathews, chairman of the stadium authority, said he was baffled that Centerplan had come up with $10.3 million in possible overruns but had never filed a change order, which are common during construction projects of this size.

From what it sounds like there are plenty of issues here, some related to fast-tracking the project (construction began less than a year ago) and some related to design challenges; reportedly the right-field area needed to be changed after concrete was laid when Minor League Baseball refused to sign off on a shorter-than-regulation home-run fence. You have six entities at play here: the architect (Pendulum), team ownership, its consultants (International Facilities Group), the developer and affiliates (Centerplan), the Hartford Stadium Authority and the city. Assigning blame and/or responsibility for cost overruns is going is complicated, to be sure, and coming up with $10.3 million in additional finds will be a tremendous challenge.

RELATED STORIES: City: New Hartford ballpark may open late; Value engineering underway in Hartford; Hartford Yard Goats unveil logos, colors; A branding exercise: Hartford Yard Goats; New for 2016: Dunkin’ Donuts Park; After Rock Cats, what becomes of New Britain Stadium?; New for 2016: Hartford Yard Goats; Hartford ballpark construction begins; Hartford ballpark groundbreaking set for February; Hartford overhauls ballpark financing plan; Hartford approves Rock Cats ballpark project

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