City will seek new contractor for Alamitos Beach concession stand after previous one failed to complete work

The city could be looking for a new contractor to complete the $9 million beach concession stand at Alamitos Beach after its current one failed to complete work on time, or at all, according to a city memo.

The Alamitos Beach concession stand project was part of an overhaul of the city’s beachfront concession areas. The stands at Junipero and Granada Beaches have already been completed and have food vendor contracts approved.

The City Council is expected to vote at its Oct. 19 meeting to approve a takeover agreement that would allow the city to demand that the bonding company for Klassic Engineering and Construction Inc., which was awarded the original deal, find a new contractor to complete the work.

Joshua Hickman, a manager in the Public Works business operations bureau, said that the concession stand is about 90% complete, but the construction firm showed an inability to complete the project.

Hickman said some of the bigger issues were the non-completion of the permanent electrical system of the stand as well as the contractor’s inability to get the elevator that will be used to transport guests up to its second floor signed off by inspectors.

“It’s less about three to four things not being done, than a whole bunch that are sitting at about 85% to 90%,” Hickman said of the incomplete work.

While it’s rare for the city to break contracts like this, Hickman said it has happened before, despite the city’s efforts to allow the contractor to complete the job.

The Alamitos Beach concession stand was originally projected to be done by October 2020 but a number of extensions were granted to the contractor before the city finally declared KEC in default of the contract after its inability to substantially complete the build out. Work started on the project in August 2019.

“Given the performance on the project we are not likely to work with them again,” Hickman said.

Breaking the contract is not expected to cost the city any additional money to complete the buildout, Hickman said. The city will work with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company to find a new contractor for the site.

Hickman said the project could benefit from a number of subcontractors remaining on the job that could start work to complete the stand in as little as a few weeks. The project is now expected to be completed by early 2022 when the new tenant, Gaucho Grill, can start its tenant improvements.

The concession stand could open for business by summer 2022.

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Jason Ruiz has been covering City Hall for the Post for nearly a decade. A Long Beach resident, Ruiz graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. He and his wife Kristina and, most importantly, their dog Mango, live in Long Beach. He is a particularly avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, which is why he sometimes comes to work after the weekend in a grumpy mood.