Two bids submitted for Cherry Hill Lane project

Housing Board to discuss at Oct. 22 meeting
Thu, 10/11/2018 - 7:45pm

Two companies have submitted proposals to build the five homes in the proposed Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing development off Cooneymus Road.

Connecticut Valley Homes, based in East Lyme, Connecticut, bid $2,623,970 for the project. The bid by Zarrella Development Corp., based in East Greenwich, R.I., totaled $3,414,350, but also included a list of alternatives that could affect the final price of the project.

The subdivision will include three three-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom homes. They are expected to sell in the $250,000 range.

Housing Board Chair Cynthia Pappas opened the bids and read the bidders’ names and amounts at Town Hall on October 5, just after the deadline of 2:00 p.m. The principals of Zarrella Development, Jerry Zarrella Sr., his wife Debbi and son Jerry Zarrella Jr., were present for the opening.

“We are very excited, cannot thank you enough,” Pappas told those assembled. She said the Housing Board “will be discussing both bids in their entirety” at its next meeting on Monday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall, and that Town Manager Ed Roberge and Facilities Manager Sam Bird will help the board members in the review.

After the bidders' conference on Sept. 10, Pappas told The Block Island Times that five construction companies had expressed interest in submitting proposals for the development. Only three of those five were present for that meeting; poor sea conditions caused ferries to be cancelled that day.

She added at the time that the board preferred to award one bid for the entire development to one contractor. “The Housing Board is seeking a contractor or contracting firm to take the project from the ground up, and the groups showing up are capable of doing that.”

The bid documents themselves are now public and available at the Town Clerk’s office.

From an initial review of the proposals immediately following the Oct. 5 bid opening, it appears that both companies met the Board's expectations for complete bids, although Zarrella Development's submission included far more detail.

Since 1981, Connecticut Valley Homes has erected modular homes on Block Island and elsewhere in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Fishers Island, N.Y., according to the company's website.

They constructed the 20 homes in the Block Island Economic Development Corporation's West Lane subdivision. Individual modules are built on a factory floor by Connecticut Valley Homes and assembled at the building site.

Zarrella Development's website says that the company has built more than 600 homes in Rhode Island using traditional on-site “stick-built” construction methods. The website also says Jerry Zarrella Sr. has owned and operated construction companies in Rhode Island for 50 years. He and his wife Debbi own a home on Spring Street.

When completed, the five new homes — two with two bedrooms and three with three bedrooms, all sharing common water supply and septic systems — will be sold to qualifying year-round island residents chosen through a lottery.