Deadline for condo bids pushed back

Added interest in the River Walk Condominium project here caused the deadline for construction bids to be pushed back a week, but owners still can expect to be able to move into their new homes Oct. 1.
“We’ve had a good response from the construction industry,” Fort Frances CAO Bill Naturkach said Monday. “Our list of invited contractors originally had five companies [but] that has been increased to seven because of added interest.”
Ed Kaun & Sons Ltd., Man-Shield Construction Inc., Penn-co Construction Corp., Tom Jones Corp., and Dominion Construction Company Corp. Inc. are among those bidding for the contract so far.
To accommodate the additional bids, the Fort Frances Non-Profit Housing Committee pushed back the original closing date from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29, with the board scheduled to award the contract later that day.
There also will be a public meeting Tuesday Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about the condo project, which will be built on Front Street.
At that time, details such as the exact price of each unit and the final closing date will be available.
Naturkach said the board is anxious to make the final decision on a contractor as many people have been calling to find out when the final details about the condos will be released.
While the price won’t be finalized until after the construction contract is awarded, Naturkach said he believes the town’s current estimates are accurate.
“Our cost estimate has been viewed so far as achievable,” he noted. “The price is very important to us. I’m optimistic the price will go down.”
In addition to awarding the construction contract, Naturkach said the board is embarking on an ad campaign to make the public more aware of the project.
The town currently has sold 22 of the 32 units, up from 19 before Christmas. Initial plans called for the condominium to have 36 units, but that was scaled back to 32 when the project didn’t receive enough down payments to continue.
Naturkach said he has no doubt the condominiums will be sold and that they’ll be a welcome addition to Fort Frances.
“Almost every person I speak to agrees the community does need this project,” he said. “It’s an alternative lifestyle.”
He also said he’s excited by the town’s other big capital campaign—completion of the waterfront.
“In 2002 we’ll finish off the waterfront from the [Sorting Gap] marina to the hospital,” he noted. “It’s a $2.4-million waterfront [and] that’s just great for the condo project because it’s right there.”
A year into the development, Naturkach said he’s pleased to see things coming together.
“I live and breath the project every day at work,” he remarked. “Each day that goes by is a little more exciting.”