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'Pre-Bid' Broadcasting Building Finished in North Hollywood

October 04, 1987

The $7.9-million Taft Broadcasting Center, built through the so-called "pre-bid/pre-buy" process, has opened in North Hollywood.

The five-story building at 3300 Cahuenga Blvd. has 100,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of parking. It was developed by Los Angeles-based Wolff Sesnon Buttery Development Co. and designed by Fields & Silverman, a Los Angeles-based architectural firm that also administered the pre-bid/pre-buy process.

In such a process, the developer and architect form a team that bids for large components of the project directly instead of through a subcontractor, said Fields & Silverman President Eddie Fields. These components typically include steel, curtain wall, elevators, mechanical equipment and electrical systems--items which Fields said typically account for about 40% of a mid-rise building's total construction cost.

The team can usually negotiate lower costs because it pushes for reduced prices, assures the supplier a firm pre-sale, and adapts the project to the suppliers' inventory or proprietary specifications, Fields said.

Additional savings can be realized by asking potential building contractors to make bids that incorporate the component costs the developer/architect team has already negotiated, Fields said.

The pre-bid/pre-buy process includes some risks that can wipe out potential savings if adequate precautions aren't taken, Fields said, and it usually doesn't work if the building will cost less than $4 million to construct. But developers who successfully incorporate the pre-bid/pre-buy process can save between 10% to 15% on construction costs, Fields said.

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