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VANCOUVER, WA-The Port is out, the Texans are in and the search for a design-build team is about to begin.

After selecting the Port of Vancouver’s proposal for a Downtown hotel and convention center in late October and then throwing it out one month later because it was too expensive, the City of Vancouver is moving forward with a plan by Landmark Organization of Austin, Tex., a runner up in the first round.

Unlike the Port’s proposal which had railroad tracks between the hotel and convention center, Landmark proposes an all-in-one 225-room hotel and 80,000-sf convention center at 6th and Columbia, immediately south of Esther Short Park. Designed by Fletcher Farr Ayotte, the building would be owned by the public facilities district, leased by the city and managed by Marriott.

Ironically, though, because the city has decided to use the state’s design-build selection process instead of its own, Landmark and Fletcher Farr Ayotte will have to compete again for the work. Today, Dec. 19, the City will begin the process by requesting the qualifications of teams interested in submitting proposals.

“We hope (construction companies) like Hoffman, Baugh, J.E. Dunn, R&H and Howard S Wright all will consider hooking up with an architect and taking a run at it,” says Steve Burdick, the city’s manager of economic development services. Responses to the request are due back Jan. 14. A week later, the city hopes to select three teams to submit best and final bids for the project by Feb. 20. The plan is to select one of the final bids on Feb. 27.

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