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By Rich Kirchen  – Senior Reporter, Milwaukee Business Journal

Milwaukee African-American-owned consulting firms Prism Technical Management & Marketing LLC and Cross Management Services Inc. were the largest early winners for pieces of contracts totaling $4 million for professional services on the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, plus nearly $500,000 for a new arena parking structure.

Prism Technical Management, which is led by Randy Crump and Lafayette Crump, will receive $760,350 for its work monitoring the Bucks city-resident workforce efforts on the arena and $63,505 for the parking structure. Carla Cross-led Cross Management will be paid $506,900 for monitoring the Bucks minority- and small-business inclusion initiatives and $41,775 for the same services on the parking structure.

The Bucks included the financial figures in a recent report to the city of Milwaukee, where the Common Council set minority-owned and small-business contracting goals as part of an agreement with the Bucks on the arena-district development.

The Bucks agreement with the city requires spending 18 percent of the total professional services budget with small-business enterprises and 25 percent of construction services on small businesses. Small businesses include minority-owned businesses.

Both Prism Technical and Cross Management were hired by the Bucks’ owners’ arena-district development arm Deer District LLC. Prism Technical and Cross Management are collaborating on community outreach and reporting public interest stories and project performance related to meeting the community benefit goals established by both the city and county, the Bucks said.

Amounts are for the entire contracts the Bucks anticipate paying each of the two firms through the course of the project.

In the very early stages of arena construction through June 30, 2016, Rams Contracting Ltd. of Lannon was paid $3,229,247 for earth-moving and site utilities work.

Through June 30, 2016, which was the period included in the Bucks report to the city, the team showed it was hitting both professional services and construction goals for the arena. The Bucks also achieved the goal for professional services on the parking structure but the report period did not include any construction spending on the new garage.

The Bucks owners and their representatives “are dedicated to ensuring the projects are successful and meet or exceed the goals described herein,” they said in the report to the city.

The Common Council’s Zoning Neighborhoods and Development Committee heard a report from the Bucks on March 21. The committee voted unanimously to place the report on file.

One area the report did not cover to a great extent was the requirement that contractors hire at least 40 percent of construction workers who are city residents. Because construction was just starting on the project as of June 30, 2016, only 869.9 total hours of work had been performed on the site, 55.7 percent of which met the city-resident hiring requirement.

A separate report in January to the Wisconsin Center District board, which is the landlord for the new Bucks arena, found the Bucks were complying with requirements to hire city of Milwaukee residents for 40 percent of arena construction jobs and to retain specified percentages of minority- and women-owned firms on the $500 million downtown Milwaukee project. The figures were included in a report by PC Sports, which is the owner’s representative for the arena’s landlord the Wisconsin Center District. PC Sports, of San Antonio, is monitoring the arena project, which received $250 million in public funds.

Beyond Cross Management and Prism Technical, the remaining professional services firms the Bucks reported on are subcontractors to architecture, engineering and consulting firms retained by Deer District LLC.

In order of total contract amounts of more than $100,000, the subcontractors are: American Design, Milwaukee, $674,470; ZS LLC of Wauwatosa, $636,000; IBC Engineering, Waukesha, $385,000; Wrightson Johnson Haddon & Williams Inc., Dallas, $361,100; Barrientos Design & Consulting, Milwaukee, $319,000; M&E Architect+Engineers, Milwaukee, $126,000; and Gestra Engineering, Milwaukee, $122,963.

On the arena construction front, the Bucks reported $3.9 million in contracts paid through June 30, 2016. Another $51.3 million of small-business and disadvantaged-business contracts had not been committed as of that date, the Bucks said.

Besides Rams Contracting, payments were made to: Nuvo Construction, Milwaukee, $261,305; Tremmel-Anderson Trucking, Sussex, $182,030; Sonag Ready Mix, Milwaukee, $103,358; South Star Inc., Milwaukee, $69,161; and McDowell Construction, Menomonee Falls, $36,000.

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