St. Louis Business Journal: Top St. Louis firms among first construction partners named for MLS stadium

St. Louis Business Journal: Top St. Louis firms among first construction partners named for MLS stadium December 17, 2019

A trio of top St. Louis-based construction firms are among the first companies to be named as partners on the construction of the more than $400 million Major League Soccer stadium development planned for Downtown West.

Two of the St. Louis-based firms, Alberici Corp. and L. Keeley Construction, are part of a joint venture with Minneapolis-based Mortenson that has been chosen as the development’s pre-construction general contractor. Mortenson is a prolific sports stadium builder, with recent projects in its portfolio including Minnesota United FC’s Allianz Field, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.

“The Mortenson | Alberici | L. Keeley team brings a unique blend of best-in-class national sports expertise with a track record of delivering the best value, finishing strong with on-time and on-budget completions combined with local St. Louis building experience,” Logan Gerken, vice president and general manager for Mortenson, said in a news release.

Leading project planning for the $461 million Downtown West development will be St. Louis-based Kwame Building Group. The construction management firm said it is the project’s “representative and program manager,” a title that means it will oversee project planning, scheduling, budgeting and working with the city of St. Louis and utilities. Kwame also has responsibility in choosing other firms to partner on the project, saying it will seek to maximize minority and women business enterprise (M/WBE) participation on the development.

Heading up Kwame’s team on the MLS stadium project is Vice President Nonyameko Waddell and John Lloyd of Unlimited Partners as program manager. Kwame has prior experience working on major St. Louis sports developments, having been part of the joint venture construction management team for the current Busch Stadium.

“Kwame and the ownership group share a commitment to quality and local community engagement for this monumental project,” Anthony Thompson, CEO of Kwame Building Group, said in a statement. “Kwame is honored to contribute its nearly 30 years of experience representing owners on large-scale projects in the areas of complex design management and construction program management.”

The Downtown West MLS stadium project is expected to cost $461 million, with construction at the site, just west of Union Station, slated to begin in January. The first event at the facility is planned for March 2022. The stadium development site, which the ownership group has pledged to own, spans 31 acres and will include the MLS team’s headquarters, an underground parking garage and practice fields.

#MLS4THELOU intends to privately finance the majority of cost for the stadium along with funds from three site-specific local taxes and state tax credits.

The ownership group’s pursuit of $30 million in state tax credits, however, was put in limbo after the Missouri Development Finance Board unexpectedly canceled a Tuesday meeting. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Economic Development on Tuesday said the tax credit request was denied because it would have required increasing a tax credit cap beyond its $10 million annual limit.

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