Planning proceeded with all haste. The Plaza parking deck (a 415 car deck, the one that started all this) would bid first, and the other three structures were to be bid slightly later in a single $50 million package. Ever the financial wizard, Bronner demanded that all this work be bid during the predicted construction recession of l989. At the time I was unaware that such a recession was imminent.
The first step was a demolition package prepared by 2WR to take down the doctors’ office at 750 Washington. That was followed by an award of the Plaza Parking Deck to West Point Construction Company from bids received on January 24, 1989. PH&J’s initial project was for excavation and pile foundations of both the Plaza and ACC office buildings; this phase was bid on March 14, 1989, and awarded to Upchurch Construction. The bids for the balance of the construction were received on September 6, 1989, a little more than one year after we were given the notice to proceed with design, but at least we got it done in the “recession year”. This last award was made to Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham.
The final step was the award for new street lights and traffic signals with underground wiring; that work was bid on November 20, 1990 and awarded to Starr Electric. The first tenant moved in on May 29, 199l, exactly three years after it all started.
My notes show that Dr. Bronner approved the preliminary design of the Plaza Office in January ‘89, at which time he blessed a budget of $25 – $30 million for the ACC and $12 – $15 million on the Plaza. In that meeting he said he wanted his buildings “first class,” and we “were not to allow the budget to control the finishes”.
-Charles Humphries (“Peril and Intrigue Within Architecture”)