The City Hall Advisory Committee for the first time saw the estimated total project cost for the new City Hall during its meeting on April 6.
That number comes in at $16.58 million, which includes $9.83 million in hard costs and $4.9 million in soft costs for a new 19,762 square-foot City Hall building and 3,102 square feet of space for the Police Department. Approximately $1.8 million of the budget would be set aside for a police station remodel.
Those numbers were reached by looking at the industry average square footage costs, at $430 per square foot total for the building, related site work and plaza. Soft costs were estimated at 50 percent, which Rex Bond of ARC Architects said is considered to be on the high end.
City Hall Advisory Committee members expressed their concern with a total project cost of $16.58 million.
“At 17 million, we are way out of the ballpark,” Committee member Stephen Barnes said.
“I don’t disagree,” Committee member Dustin DeKoekkoek said. “I think this is definitely on the high side.”
The committee received a chart outlining project costs from other similar projects in the region. Mukilteo’s City Hall, for example, cost $350 per square foot in January 2008. If that were to be built today, the adjusted costs are estimated at $392.04 per square foot. Port Townsend’s City Hall Annex, built in March 2003, cost $312.50 per square foot, or $497 adjusted.
The most recent project listed, which is Union Gap’s City Hall and Police Station built in January 2017, cost $324.19 per square foot.
Soft costs for the project include things like sales tax, architectural and engineering fees, construction contingency, traffic impact fees, permitting fees and testing fees, among many other possible costs related to the project. Of those fees, however, three are guaranteed. Sales tax will cost 10.3 percent of the construction costs. Architectural and engineering fees will cost 12.5 percent, and a 10-percent construction contingency is required in the budget.
Based on those fees alone, soft costs would be 32.8 percent. While soft costs may not reach 50 percent, they are expected to reach at least 45 percent, according to ARC Architect’s cost estimator.
While $16.58 million is the initial estimate for the total project costs, that number has the potential to shift up or down, depending on any efficiencies that are used in the design or any additions that are included.
More information about the costs, as well as preliminary designs, will be presented to the public at the second Community Meeting, which will take place on Thursday, April 20 at the Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. W. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Preliminary design ideas, Bond said, will include a new City Hall building set farther away from the street, based on feedback received at the first Community Meeting in March.
To give input on the project, click here to fill out the city’s online comment form.