A $350 million dollar development project is underway in Morris Park and its honchos are making sure Bronx businesses get the first crack at any associated contracts.
On Thursday, July 21 at the Hutchinson Metro Center, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Bornx-based business development company Crescent Consulting, and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce held an outreach meeting for Bronx businesses to discuss opportunities associated with the Bronx Mental Health Redevelopment Project.
The project centers around the development of a brand-new Bronx Psychiatric Center on Waters Place, adjacent to the Hutchinson Metro Center and near Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The center will have a campus setting. It will contain at least six different buildings with both in-patient and out-patient mental health facilities for children and adults.
Construction on the $75 million adult building begins in September and the entire project is expected to be finished by the end of 2013. The outreach event was intended to make sure Bronx businesses, from construction companies to marketers, have every chance to benefit from the large-scale project.
“What we’re trying to do here is open up opportunities for Bronx-based businesses,” said Michael M. Clay, opportunities director for DASNY, which oversees the contract bidding process.
DASNY also hoped the event would open the bidding process up to female and minority-owned businesses. Even if a company’s bid was not successful, organizers felt the event could serve as a networking opportunity.
“We want to bring the minority-owned business community together, so we can set a platform,” said Olivia I. Peck, assistant director of DASNY’s opportunity programs group. “The bids aren’t even out yet and we’re already building relationships.”
The bidding for the project’s next round of construction begins in October. The BCC’s co-chairman, Joseph Kelleher, is also president and CEO of the Hutch Metro Center. He helped provide the meeting space and rounded up local business representatives.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure Bronx businesses have the chance to build these kinds of projects,” said BCC president Lenny Caro. “And this is a good-sized project.”
Over 50 Bronx businesses showed up for the event. Virtually all planned to submit bids for contracts associated with the Bronx Mental Health Redevelopment Project.
Yasmin Cruz is president and CEO of Parkchester-based Image Marketing Inc. She found out about the event through Crescent Consulting’s website. She plans to submit a bid to handle marketing for the Mental Health Redevelopment Project.
“A lot of my clients are in the construction industry, so this is ideal for me,” she said.
Maria Rios, president of Classico Building Maintenance, based on Boston Road, said the event was in her wheelhouse.
“I’m happy that I can get more and more work out of this,” Rios said. “Classico is a Bronx-based business so this is right in our back yard.”