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Owner’s representative chosen for new Next project

By Grace Lovins


After a contentious interview process, the Birmingham city commission has selected Kramer Management Group as the owner’s representative for the development of the city's community and senior center during the Monday, May 20, commission meeting.


The city purchased the former YMCA building last June for $2 million, with a $500,000 contribution from NEXT, and has been working with NEXT, the YMCA, and the Ad Hoc Senior and Recreation Services Committee to develop a plan for the future of the building in order to provide the best use for Birmingham residents.


Earlier in the same meeting, commissioners reviewed a report created by the Norr firm that contained a community survey on what Birmingham residents would like to see out of the center and a feasibility study of the existing building.


During that discussion, several commissioners pointed out that important details were missing from the plan. The city has not established a defined budget, funding or scope for the project, which is where the selection of an owner’s representative could relieve some pressure.


An owner’s representative would help manage the city’s efforts going forward with the project. The city and the Ad Hoc Senior and Recreation Services Committee put together a request for proposals (RFP) that was released on April 18, 2024, with a deadline of May 10.


According to city manager Jana Ecker, the ad hoc committee, Ecker, both assistant city managers, building official, planning director, department of public services director, finance director and building superintendent reviewed the proposals and brought forward two candidates to be interviewed by the commission.


The first of the candidates was Edge Design Associates, a firm based in Ann Arbor, that has owner’s representative experience with projects including Baker College’s Royal Oak Campus and the Malletts Creek Branch of the Ann Arbor Library.


The second candidate brought to the commission was Kramer Management Group based out of Lansing. Kramer Management Group has worked on several projects throughout the state, including several corporate facilities for McLaren Healthcare, Michigan’s State Senate offices and the Ingham County Justice Complex.


After hearing presentations from both groups, multiple commissioners said they were impressed with the experience from Kramer Management Group.


“We seek a spark to get back on track, to do what we promised to the seniors, the community members, everyone here, all of our stakeholders,” said mayor Elaine McLain. “You hear how passionate we are about it so thank you for bringing the spark.”


Commissioners voted unanimously to award the owner’s representative contract to Kramer Management Group.

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