Mall of America to expand. The city of Bloomington, Minn., has approved an environmental impact statement for expanding the 4.2 million-sq.-ft. Mall of America. A 5.6 million-sq.-ft. development is envisaged on the former site of the Metropolitan Sports Center, just north of the mall. Work on a 500-room hotel could begin this spring, as well as a shopping concourse and a 5,000-seat performing arts center.
Federal Acquisition Regulation amended. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the Associated Builders & Contractors and other groups have filed a suit seeking to halt the "blacklisting" amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) scheduled to take effect Jan. 19. AGC called the changes unnecessary because the FAR already insures a contractor can be barred for many of the reasons cited. The Mechanical Electrical Sheet Metal Alliance, on the other hand, applauded the amendments.
Justice won't probe NCARB. The Justice Department has turned down a request from interior designers that the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) be investigated for alleged antitrust violations, saying actions taken by NCARB in opposing interior designer licensing laws do not warrant investigation. A complaint against NCARB on behalf of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification was filed last summer prior to an NCARB vote to oppose further enactment of interior designer licensing laws, which passed.
Court rules against PLAs. Rhode Island Superior Court struck down the state's union-only project labor agreement (PLA) for construction of University of Rhode Island's Convocation Center, Kingston. Work on the shell, roof, plumbing and glazing was delayed when Associated Builders & Contractors sued the state for violating bidding laws by mandating that contractors sign a PLA excluding nonunion firms from bidding.