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Construction tender awarded for Sparks Street seniors building

Woodbridge-based Buttcon Limited was awarded the tender for a 14-unit seniors complex on Sparks Street, and is also one of the companies behind the 40-unit transitional housing complex being built on Lorraine Street

The city has awarded the tender for a 14-unit affordable seniors complex on Sparks Street to Woodbridge-based Buttcon Ltd. for $7.5 million.

Buttcon Ltd. is the one of the same companies behind a 40-unit transitional housing complex on Lorraine Street, which was awarded to Nomodic Modular Structures Inc. and Buttcon as a joint venture. The transitional housing complex’s segments are currently being built at an Apex Modular facility in Dundalk, a village in southern Ontario.

Both projects have been tendered as the city’s first two modular builds, wherein segments are built off-site and assembled like puzzle pieces, which is followed by finishing work.

The Lorraine Street building is expected to open in November, and the Sparks Street building is anticipated to open by the end of the year, according to a city spokesperson.

“Construction is expected to begin offsite soon,” the spokesperson said of the Sparks Street project. “Once the modules are complete, they will be transported to Sudbury and assembled. Any sitework required will be completed this spring/summer.”

Buttcon Ltd. was one of four companies to submit a bid for the Sparks Street project, the amounts of which are expected to be posted online soon.

The city’s tender documents note the building’s 14 one-bedroom units will be 575 to 650 square feet each, and the building will include a 700- to 800-square-foot common area with a universal washroom and a computer room of between 250-300 square feet.

The housing complex was budgeted at $6.3 million (plus a contingency topping it up to $7.3 million) when the lowest of three bids, by Capital Construction (2007) Inc. (based in Copper Cliff), came in at $8.7 million when the initial round of bidding closed on July 19, 2022. Their bid was followed by a $9.4-million bid from Aurora-based Matheson Constructors Limited and a $10-million bid from Mississauga-based EllisDon Corporation.

To bring the cost back down, city staff opted to re-tender the project as a modular build in September 2022.

A municipal report at the time blamed the jump in price, which was already beyond its originally budgeted $5.5 million, on “general market conditions, wood and plastic material costs, thermal and mechanical systems costs.”

The federal government got the ball rolling on the Sparks Street build in 2020, when they announced $556,400 for the acquisition of the land at 1310 Sparks Street, which housed an RCMP detachment at the time and has since been torn down.

Accompanying the Sparks Street build is a separate road and watermain project, which will likely include a sidewalk on the north side of the road directly in front of the building. The sidewalk is the product of a recent motion by Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann, which proved successful in spite of a city recommendation to go without the sidewalk. Speed humps will also be included in the infrastructure project, which is expected to take place in 2024.

Although Landry-Altmann’s motion was narrowly approved by the city’s operations committee, the inclusion of a sidewalk, which would bump the road project up by $1.2 million, still needs to be ratified by city council as a whole.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for