Convention Center finishes pact on electrical service

The Convention Center. New arrangement is to start July 1.
The Convention Center. New arrangement is to start July 1. (DAVID M WARREN / StaffPhotographer)
Posted: June 15, 2014

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board on Friday formalized the relationship between the management company operating the center and its longtime electrical contractor.

SMG, the West Conshohocken arena management company that now operates the center, says the new arrangement with Elliott-Lewis Corp., a 550-employee electrical, heating, and air-conditioning contractor, has the potential to save the center $1 million a year.

The contracts, renewable yearly, are worth up to $825,000 a year to the Northeast Philadelphia company. The contract combines a flat fee for services plus a variable amount, depending on business.

The savings will come, starting July 1, as SMG takes over Elliott-Lewis' role as the supplier of electrical services and electricians to convention producers who need power to light their conventions, meetings, and banquets, said Lorenz Hassenstein, the building's general manager and a SMG executive. "The profits will go to the center."

Elliott-Lewis will continue - with modifications - its role as longtime labor broker and payroll administrator.

In the past, convention producers contacted Elliott-Lewis to obtain labor to set up their shows. Elliott-Lewis called the unions for workers and paid them, later billing the producers for labor costs.

Under the new arrangements, convention producers will contact SMG for workers ordered in advance, but Elliott-Lewis will handle payroll administration.

Until early in 2013, Elliott-Lewis had been allowed to charge an 8 percent fee on labor to cover its administrative work.

That fee was eliminated, but the center allowed Elliott-Lewis to make up the revenue by letting it supply electrical services.

Now SMG is taking that work back for the center.

Unchanged is Elliott-Lewis' longtime role maintaining the building's electrical and mechanical systems.

215-854-2769 @JaneVonBergen

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