Worcester, MA officials have ranked D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects first among prospective designers for a Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) ballpark, marking the latest step in the selection process.
Seven firms previously submitted bids to land the design contract for a new Worcester ballpark, tentatively named Polar Park and scheduled to open in 2021 for the relocating PawSox. It was left to the city’s Designer Selection Board to rank the proposals, and it issued its top three choices on Thursday. D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects (DAIQ Architects) placed first, with Sasaki Architects and Safdie Architects ranking second and third, respectively.
DAIQ Architects would come to the project with plenty of notable experience, including work on the renovations to Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium. In the case of Fenway, the firm worked with current PawSox chairman Larry Luchino, while Janet Marie Smith–who will be involved in the Worcester ballpark’s design process–had a hand in both Los Angeles and Boston’s renovations. However, the firm’s first-place ranking does not automatically trigger its selection, as officials still have to negotiate a contract before any plans can move forward. More from the Telegram & Gazette:
Michael E. Traynor, the city’s chief development officer, said city officials, on behalf of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority, will negotiate a fee for the project with DAIQ Architects.
He said if no agreement can be reached with DAIQ, the city will negotiate with Sasaki and, if necessary, then Safdie.
Mr. Traynor said the WRA board will be responsible for voting on a contract for the architect.
The WRA board is expected to meet next on Nov. 9, but Mr. Traynor said an agreement with the architect may not be reached in time for that meeting.
The ballpark is envisioned as the anchor of a larger redevelopment initiative in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area. The funding formula calls for a $86 million-to-$90 million ballpark, with the city of Worcester borrowing $100.8 million ($70.6 million in general obligations bonds, $30.2 in bonds backed by team rent payments) to cover construction costs and PawSox owners paying $6 million toward construction. Rent payments are pegged at a little over a million dollars annually, for a total of $30.2 million over 30 years.
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