Without advertising for competitive bids, the Maryland Stadium Authority voted this week to hire Whiting Turner Contracting Co. at a cost of $860,000 to oversee renovation work inside the B&O Warehouse in Camden Yards.
The six-member state panel voted Monday to hire the Towson-based company, headed by Willard Hackerman, to serve as construction manager for a $10.5 million conversion of the south end of the warehouse to office space.
Even though state funds are involved, the Stadium Authority awarded the contract after reviewing proposals from only one other company besides Whiting Turner.
The Stadium Authority is one of a growing number of agencies that legislators have exempted from state procurement rules, which stipulate that agencies advertise for bids before awarding contracts.
Before any work can begin on the warehouse, the contract must be approved by the state's Board of Public Works.
Whiting Turner was recommended for the warehouse renovation work by the Rouse Co., which is providing "development management" services for the state in conjunction with the same project.
Robert Minutoli, senior vice president of Rouse, said his company invited proposals for construction management services from Whiting Turner and Barton Malow/Essex of Upper Marlboro.
Mr. Minutoli said Rouse found Whiting Turner's to be better.
Its bid was lower than the one from Barton Malow/Essex by $50,000 to $100,000, said Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the Stadium Authority.
Robert Wyatt, vice president of Barton Malow/Essex of Upper Marlboro, said he was satisfied that Whiting Turner submitted the lower bid.
But others are unhappy that they were excluded from the bidding.
Randy Shurr, a project manager for Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore, which renovated part of the north end of the warehouse for the Orioles, said his company would have liked to bid for work on the south end.
Mr. Minutoli said his office did not advertise for bids because the project is on a tight timetable in order to satisfy the first tenant, Waverly Inc.