Representatives of the Edgemoor and Clarkson Construction team pledged Friday that they would provide major opportunities for local design and construction firms and workers, as well as minority and women-owned companies, to help build a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport.
“All projects are local. It’s critical to us to have local partners,” Geoffrey Stricker, managing partner with Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, told reporters at a news conference to introduce to the public the preferred team to develop a new airport terminal.
“But great projects balance the local community with the thought leaders in national and international design and construction and development,” he said. “So what our team brings to Kansas City is experts from the local community as well as nationally and internationally.”
On Wednesday, a selection committee of city council members and city staff recommended Edgemoor to design, build and finance a new single terminal at KCI.
Edgemoor got the edge over Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell, AECOM and Jones Lang LaSalle.
The committee said the team led by Maryland-based Edgemoor provided the best and most flexible deal for Kansas City at the lowest cost.
But the city council still must approve the selection, and Kansas City voters will decide Nov. 7 whether they even want a new terminal to replace the existing horseshoe terminals.
Edgemoor is an affiliate of Clark Construction Group, a large construction firm based in Bethesda, Md. Its co-developer on the KCI project is Meridiam, a Paris-based asset manager and investor in public infrastructure projects.
Edgemoor’s team also includes the Clark Construction Group; the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; the Des Moines-based Weitz Company, which has an office in Lenexa; and Kansas City-based Clarkson Construction.
The team was chosen based on its qualifications, airport design approach and financing, but there’s not yet a lot of specifics to give the public about what the new airport terminal might look like. There is no rendering yet.
“We bring everybody together to work collaboratively to come up with a great design that will deliver and meet the community needs from a convenience, customer experience and airlines operations perspective,” Stricker said.
Stricker and Clark Construction representatives said they have a track record of working extensively with small businesses, including minority and women-owned firms and labor groups, to maximize opportunities not only with their projects but to help those small business owners build long-term careers.
Bill Clarkson Jr. of Clarkson Construction said his firm was approached about two months ago to be part of the team’s airport proposal and determined it was a great fit.
But he also said he realizes there are more hurdles with the city council and the Kansas City public.
“We’re not at the finish line yet. We know that,” he said.
Stricker said the team hopes to win the council’s endorsement by the end of September, and then would help with community outreach to try to get a positive vote in November. That would include providing more information about how a new airport terminal can be as convenient as the existing KCI while also updating the technology, baggage systems, parking, concessions and other amenities.
If the council and public votes are successful, Stricker said the team would hope to have a finalized contract to develop the airport terminal by June 2018. Much of the design and construction work would be bid out to local firms, creating an estimated 3,500 to 4,500 construction-related jobs. The goal would be to complete construction by November 2021.
According to a city memo, the Edgemoor team has accomplished about $63 billion in aviation work and $50 billion in design-build projects. It has experience working with Southwest, United, American and Delta airlines and has worked on airport terminals including in San Antonio, Seattle-Tacoma and Los Angeles.
Closer to home, Edgemoor in May wrapped up work on a 545-bed residential hall at the University of Kansas. Other local projects by the Edgemoor team include the Bartle Hall expansion, the Kansas State University Innovation Campus in Olathe, the Kit Bond Bridge and taxiway rehabilitation at the Wheeler downtown airport.