April 9, 2014 | Source: bizjournals.com

PBS Hawaii seeks general contractor, plans to break ground on new facility this year

PBS Hawaii said Tuesday that it is ready to start construction of its new headquarters at the corner of Nimitz Highway and Sand Island Access Road by the end of this year, with plans to complete the project by 2016, when its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus expires.

The nonprofit public television station recently ran an advertisement for a notice of request for qualifications for general contractors, with an April 30 deadline to submit packages.

“All of us at PBS Hawaii are so excited to get underway with work on our new home,” PBS Hawaii Board Chair Robbie Alm said in a statement. “We still have lots to do and more funds to raise to realize the dream of a PBS Hawaii for a new century, but it is great to be officially underway.”

General contractors interested in applying should email their qualification packages to Tim Somerset of Cumming Corp., the nonprofit’s liaison between the architect, Group 70 International, and general contractor to be determined.

“We had hoped we would be coming out to market before the construction in Kakaako, but this will be a different kind of building and we are excited to be where we are in Kalihi — a place that will have a lot of new life,” PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox told PBN.

PBS Hawaii purchased the site at 315 Sand Island Access Road for $5.2 million in 2009 and has been running a $30 million capital campaign to cover costs of rebuilding and renovating the new facility. For Wilcox’s task of overseeing the big move under a then-tight deadline,  she was among PBN’s 10 to Watch for 2013.

To date, about $22 million has been raised, and the move-out deadline at the Manoa facility has been extended from 2014 to 2016. Wilcox said the nonprofit had negotiated a two-year extension that was part of the lease with the university.

“We negotiated that last year and asked them to invoke the extension,” she said. “So our lease will be up in mid-2016.”

Among major donors to the PBS Hawaii capital campaign is the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, which gave $5 million early in the campaign to help the nonprofit get started. Following that donation, PBS Hawaii will call its new two-story facility, which will have a main television studio, emergency broadcast center and media innovation center, the Clarence T.C. Ching Campus.

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