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San Marcos: Hunt Cos. Lands Predevelopment Pact for New Public Services Complex

Featured Illustration (above): A concept site plan for the city of San Marcos’ new public services complex. Hunt Companies is expected to lead a design-build project involving Flintco as the builder and Lawrence Group as the designer. Image: City of San Marcos/Jacobs

Posted: 12-17-19

By Edmond Ortiz

San Marcos (Hays County)–City Council voted Dec. 3 enter into a $1.5 million predevelopment services agreement with Hunt Companies Inc., which would lead Flintco and the Lawrence Group in a planned design-build of a new public services complex.

The city plans to establish a new facility on a vacant 20.6-acre tract between Clovis Barker Road and Farm Road 110 next to the Hays County Juvenile Detention Center.

The complex would centralize operations for the Public Services Department, which covers water/wastewater functions, public works/transportation, and electric utilities, general services administration, and parks maintenance.

Right now, all of these functions are spread out citywide. City staff briefed council on the project in a Nov. 19 work session. Current total cost estimates for the project range from $39 million to $42 million. VBX members may track this project using the ID number: 2017-0DF1.

City Manager Bert Lumbreras said centralizing these operations would yield many benefits.

“As a result, we’ll be able to significantly increase our ability to enhance our services, our efficiencies, and it’ll allow us to place a service center to serve our entire community and give us the ability to grow,” Lumbreras said.

Jacobs, a company with offices worldwide, is managing the city’s bond projects. The firm helped to produce a conceptual layout of the public services complex at the Nov. 19 meeting.

The layout shows an administrative building fronting FM 110, surrounded by staff and visitor parking, next to a building for city work crews, a wash bay, a warehouse, and a structure containing utility bays, which would include work spaces and maintenance areas.

Further back of the property, there would be parking spaces for the city vehicle fleet, and more than three acres for materials storage. Parking spaces would total 647 around the complex. A one-acre detention pond would be placed along Clovis Barker.

San Marcos plans to develop its public services complex, which would centralize several public works related operations, on a vacant city-owned tract. Image: City of San Marcos

The site includes additional space for staff expansion and physical building expansion to serve a city that is projected to reach 110,000 population in 15 years. The city projects the new complex could house 244 city employees upon opening in 2021.

Public Services Executive Director Tom Taggart described the planned complex as “very functional, basic, nothing over the top, only what we need.”

The cost estimates do not include the $2.4 million in bond money used to buy the land. Earlier in 2019, the city issued an RFQ to design, finance and construct the public services complex.

The city received four statements of qualifications, all evaluated by a committee that included Jacobs. Three firms were scored and shortlisted: Hunt Companies, Cowperwood Co., and Development 2000. Cowperwood subsequently withdrew.

The city invited the remaining two firms to answer a RFP. The review committee later recommended Hunt as the most qualified firm to provide the city with the best value for the project.

Hunt Companies now will help Jacobs and the city with financial and design development, constructability reviews, cost estimates and budgeting, procurement of additional professional services and other services before execution of a full development agreement and financial closing.

The San Marcos council anticipates receiving a guaranteed maximum price proposal by April 2020.

Hunt provides various services in commercial, institutional and residential developments across the globe. The firm is currently lead developer on a design-build of a 430,000-square-foot civil and family courthouse facility for Travis County.

Tulsa-based Flintco has experience building or renovating a variety of structures nationwide, including a new administrative and judicial facility in Taos, New Mexico, and improvements to the Houston Health Department’s Acres Homes Multi-Service Center. Flintco has an office in Austin.

Based in St. Louis, Lawrence Group has offices in Austin and New York City. The company is able to provide structural design as well as construction, master planning and landscape architectural services to a range of developments.

Lawrence Group’s municipal projects have included expanding the Georgetown, Texas library to accommodate city administrative and municipal court operations. The firm also designed the conversion of a former Austin bank into Travis County commissioner and courtroom office and meeting space.