Barrett Lo rebidding general contractor job on Couture project

Developer announced last year that J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. was general contractor

The Couture

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:57 am

Barrett Lo Visionary Development has reopened the bidding process for general contractor of The Couture project near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, less than one year after announcing it had chosen J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. as the general contractor, according to industry sources.

With the bidding reopened, Findorff, Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Company and Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane Building Co., three firms that were in the running last year before Findorff was ultimately chosen to lead construction of the 44-story, 312-unit luxury apartment tower, are again competing for the contract, according to a construction industry source. Other firms could also be considered, another source said.

Rendering of The Couture by Rinka Chung Architecture.

Findorff representatives referred all questions to Barrett Lo owner and founder Rick Barrett, who could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for Barrett said Findorff served as the general contractor for the demolition of the Downtown Transit Center in December 2016 and January 2017. The Couture is planned for that site.

“We are still in process on selecting a general contractor for the vertical construction (of The Couture),” the spokesman said. “We do anticipate making a decision in the coming weeks.”

One construction industry source said Barrett wanted to reevaluate costs for The Couture and asked construction companies to rebid the project.

“Rick has committed to all of us to build a signature building for this city,” the source said. “I don’t see this as a problem. He is just trying to make sure he has the right firm to build a 44-story tower.”

On Findorff’s website, the company shows a rendering of The Couture as a “featured project,” but the link to it does not work.

Findorff website.

Findorff, which has offices in Madison and Milwaukee, led the construction for Barrett Lo’s The Moderne project in the Park East Corridor.

In April 2017, Barrett also announced construction for The Couture would begin in early December. However, construction has not begun yet as Barrett Lo continues to work to secure financing for the project.

Barrett’s spokesman said the project is still “on schedule.”

The $120 million project will take approximately 30 months to build once construction begins.

“(The project is) remaining on schedule for a groundbreaking in the next few months,” Barrett’s spokesman said.

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