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JE Dunn Construction, the region’s largest general contractor, was one of two local construction firms that joined the hometown team Burns & McDonnell assembled last year to compete for the roughly $1 billion job of designing, building and financing the single-terminal modernization of Kansas City International Airport.

As it turned out, JE Dunn bet on the wrong horse, as the Kansas City Council voted in September to select the terminal modernization team led by Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, based in Bethesda, Md.

On Wednesday, however, JE Dunn was back in the saddle after being announced by an Edgemoor joint venture team including Clark Construction Group LLC, The Weitz Co. and Clarkson Construction as the design-builder for the new terminal parking structure.

With at least 6,500 spaces planned, the parking structure — not the new terminal — is expected to be the single largest structure built as part of the project.

Mark Goodwin, vice president of the joint venture, called the selection of JE Dunn “a win for the project and the city.”

“JE Dunn’s national reputation for quality work and strong local relationships make them a great partner and addition to our growing team,” Goodwin said. “We’re proud to have them on board.”

Help hitting targets

Goodwin said another reason JE Dunn was selected was so it could use its local relationships to help the Edgemoor team exceed its minority- and women-owned business participation goals, which call for at least 20 percent participation from minority-owned firms and 15 percent participation from women-owned firms.

Although Burns & McDonnell had billed itself as the KCI Hometown Team, JE Dunn’s inclusion on the team also represents an effort to augment Edgemoor's roster of area firms.

Two weeks ago, the joint venture announced the addition of U.S. Engineering Co., a mechanical contractor, and Capital Electric Construction Co., an electrical services contractor, to the team. Combined, the mechanical, electrical and parking garage scopes of work represent nearly 40 percent of construction activities on the new terminal.

Paul Neidlein, JE Dunn’s Midwest region president, said his company’s selection for the parking garage also will lead to a role for Kansas City architecture firm BNIM.

Like JE Dunn, BNIM also hitched its wagon to Burns & McDonnell’s KCI Hometown Team, which announced that Bob Berkebile, the “B” in BNIM, would be designer emeritus for the modernization project, in part due to a historic role he played with another architecture firm. In 1965, when Berkebile was a 28-year-old architect with Kansas City-based Kivett & Myers, he won a KCI design competition that led to his selection as lead architect for KCI, which opened in 1972.

Neidlein noted that Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Edgemoor’s architect of record, “will establish the baseline of design for the whole terminal project.”

But BNIM, JE Dunn’s design partner for the project, will be the architect of record for the parking structure, a role in which it will help finalize the garage design.

“JE Dunn and BNIM have done thousands of projects together, and I think we’ve completed about 25 parking structures together,” Neidlein said. “We have a long history of executing parking garages with BNIM all over the region. So it was a natural fit for us to team with them.”

The seven-story KCI parking structure will sit adjacent to the new terminal and will offer at least 50 percent more spaces than are available in the current garage spaces at KCI.

JE Dunn Construction's headquarters, which it built itself, sits in the shadow of City Hall on the east side of the Downtown Loop.

Plenty of experience

JE Dunn, which brings 90 years of construction experience and a deep bench of local talent to the KCI project, has a reputation for delivering award-winning work, such as the first two phases of Cerner Corp.'s Innovations Campus and Dunn's headquarters building on the east side of the Downtown Loop.

Selected as Engineering News-Record’s Midwest Contractor of the Year in 2017, Dunn also has amassed a national aviation portfolio that includes a combined 1.47 million square feet of parking garage space at Terminals A and C at KCI.

JE Dunn has nearly 1,100 employees in the greater Kansas City area, many of whom will support efforts to deliver the new parking structure.

“We are excited to join the Edgemoor Team and work alongside Clark, Weitz and Clarkson to deliver critical infrastructure that will have a positive impact on the Kansas City economy for decades to come,” Neidlein said. “JE Dunn is focused on delivering the best result for Kansas City and is committed to utilizing small, local firms to achieve that outcome.”

JE Dunn joins a growing and diverse team of local Edgemoor partners, which include more than 40 Kansas City-based firms, 33 of which are certified minority- or women-owned businesses.

Edgemoor Managing Director Geoffrey Stricker expressed his satisfaction with the latest addition to the KCI team.

“We are thrilled to add another qualified and respected construction partner to our ranks,” Stricker said. “It’s easy to see the dramatic impact JE Dunn has had on the Kansas City landscape; they will bolster our ability to deliver world-class results.”

Goodwin said JE Dunn’s selection resulted from an RFP that went out in February after the Edgemoor team decided to break the garage out as a turnkey, design-build project.

“Dunn submitted a proposal, we had an interview, and evaluation and selection then followed,” Goodwin said.

JE Dunn is working with his joint venture team on budgeting, which will result in a lump-sum agreement, Goodwin said. Work is expected to start sometime early next year.