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Two firms under consideration for The Mill's parking deck


Developer Mark Castleberry discusses Friday the need for strong firms who can expeditiously construct The Mill’s 650-space parking facility.

Developer Mark Castleberry discusses Friday the need for strong firms who can expeditiously construct The Mill’s 650-space parking facility. Photo by: Carl Smith/Dispatch Staff


Carl Smith



Two firms emerged Friday as the frontrunners to handle architectural and construction plans surrounding an $8 million parking facility associated with The Mill development. 


Starkville aldermen could vote Tuesday to proceed with negotiations with Copeland and Johns Inc. for construction manager-advisor work and Dale Partners Architects P.A. for architectural services for the four-level, 650-space facility. 


Both firms were already affiliated with the development. 


A review committee comprised of Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk, Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas, The Mill developer Mark Castleberry and Mississippi State University Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw met Friday and vetted seven architectural proposals and two construction manager proposals. 


The group ranked each firm on a 100-point scale, and negotiations with the highest-ranking firms could proceed following board approval Tuesday. 


Officials said Friday they were pleased with the amount of highly qualified proposals the city received. They also noted the highest-rated firms' ability to move forward diligently and expeditiously with the project. 


Dale Partners received a perfect 100-point score for its proposal, while Copeland and Johns received a 95. 


If negotiators cannot enter into a mutually satisfactory contract with the firms in the future, talks would begin with the next highest-rated firm. 


Dale Partners' proposal states the firm would continue working with parking specialist firm Carl Walker Inc. Dale Partners is currently working on the Cooley Building renovation project and master plan for the overall site as well as coordinating with the hotel development project, its proposal states. 


Development plans included with Dale Partners' proposal show a proposed hotel and parking garage located directly behind the Cooley Building. These plans state the hotel - a four story, 110-room building - could be completed by June 2015, while Cooley Building renovations could be finished earlier that year. 


Copeland and Johns' proposal states the firm has worked on numerous parking deck projects across the state, including constructing a 1,100-space facility for Ameristar Hotel and Casino in Vicksburg, building a 650-space structure for Horseshow Casino and Hotel in Robinsonville and renovating a 350-space deck for Fitzgerald's Hotel and Casino in Tunica. The firm also handled parking facility construction for Jackson's Baptist Hospital, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the first phase of OCH Regional Medical Center additions in Starkville. 


In total, the firm's staff has overseen construction of 5,600 parking deck spaces and $250 million of related contracts. 


Copeland and Johns currently serves as the Cooley Center LLC's construction manager for the entity's development of a conference center and Marriott Courtyard Hotel, its proposal states.


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch



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