City picks design firm to lead City-County Building Plaza project

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Indianapolis-based Rundell Ernstberger Associates has been chosen to lead the redesign efforts of the City-County Building Plaza along East Washington Street, the city announced Friday.

The city first envisioned putting a community park in the space two years ago, but initial bids came in well over the $10 million budget for the project.

After scrapping that plan, the city issued a request for qualifications from design firms in mid-August. The new budget is $9 million, the city said.

The Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, in collaboration with the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority and consultant Core Planning Strategies, selected Rundell Ernstberger, which had been involved in nearby projects such as the Cultural Trail and Julia M. Carson Transit Center.

“This was a competitive process and a tough decision; we received qualifications from some very talented firms,” DMD Director Emily Mack said in a written statement. “Rundell Ernstberger Associates won the review committee over with their proven track record of successful, fiscally responsible downtown Indianapolis projects and their clear passion for creating vibrant, thriving spaces for our city.”

Rundell is charged with designing an outdoor space “where residents and visitors can eat, meet, and play,” the city said.

The space also is overdue for maintenance updates that need to be resolved in the next year, the city said.

The design process will begin this fall with a public information session in early-December. Design and construction documents are scheduled to be finalized in early 2017. Construction is to begin next summer and completed by the middle of the following year.

Lilly Endowment contributed $5 million toward the development in June 2015.

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