Downtown pavilion redo: Bids come in much cheaper

Dayton received new construction bids for Levitt Pavilion Dayton which is planned for opening next summer. CONTRIBUTED
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Dayton received new construction bids for Levitt Pavilion Dayton which is planned for opening next summer. CONTRIBUTED

The reconstruction of a downtown park into a state-of-the art music venue hit a hitch when only one firm bid on the project and wanted $3 million more than the estimated building budget.

But the Levitt Pavilion Dayton project was rebid and four companies submitted proposals by the deadline — noon today —which were much more in line with projected building costs.

RELATED: $3M over budget: Dayton to rebid downtown music pavilion

The Levitt Pavilion Dayton is an outdoor music amphitheater that will be built on South Main Street near the Crowne Plaza Dayton that was projected to cost $5 million. Supporters completed a $5 million capital fundraising campaign earlier this year.

The project was bid out over the summer but just one company responded, with a base bid of $7.6 million.

The project was rebid and proposals were due today. Four contractors submitted base bids that ranged from just under $5.8 million to just over $6.9 million.

After receiving only one bid in August, the city of Dayton reached out to companies that attended a bidder’s conference to find out why they did not submit a proposal, said Kevin Deal, vice chair of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton.

A lot of bidding activity on a variety of projects occurred at the same time, and many potential bidders indicated they lacked the “bandwidth” to bid on multiple projects, he said.

Some construction requirements were adjusted to help reduce costs, and some venue components, like the service building, could be constructed at a later time if need be, Deal said.

“We believe that by giving everyone another chance to bid we should have a reasonable number of bids from reputable and experienced general contractors,” Deal said last month.

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The pavilion will become the eighth in a national network of outdoor music venues that provide 50 or more free shows each year.

The Levitt Pavilion Dayton is expected to bring 100,000 or more people downtown to its concerts, which officials hope will help fuel the revival of the urban center.

Pollstar estimates that average concert ticket prices are about $84, which means the Levitt pavilion essentially will be donating $10 million worth of programming each year, supporters say.

The pavilion is expected to open by the summer of 2018. Supporters say the prolonged bidding process is not expected to cause significant construction delays.

The project will be constructed in two phases, with phase 1 completing in late June 2018 and phase 2 finishing in November 2018, according to city documents.

Phase 1 will include the pavilion, lawn in front of the stage, two hospitality areas, lawn walkways from South Main Street and a parking lot. Phase 2 will include the service building and walkways from Jefferson, Fourth and Fifth streets.

Funding for the pavilion was raised from a variety of donors, including public and private sources.