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PPP gets the job done: Three-party deal saves time and money for client

Bronze Award: Weitz, acting as developer and design-builder, leased the land and borrowed the money for the project.

June 20, 2019 |

The 330-room Hilton Des Moines Downtown was developed through a three-party public-private partnership. Inset: Pivotek delivers one of 300 bath pods use in the project. Photos: Michael Robinson.

Four years ago, The Weitz Company formed a public-private partnership with the city of Des Moines and Polk County, Iowa, for a $101 million hotel/convention center in downtown Des Moines.

Weitz, acting as developer and design-builder, leased the land and borrowed the money for the project. The city and county formed the nonprofit Iowa Events Center Hotel Corp. to create a lease-purchase agreement for the property upon completion.

Weitz, DLR Group (design architect), RDG Planning & Design (AOR), and Raker Rhodes Engineering (SE) employed upfront planning to create parallel paths of construction. They used virtual reality to integrate 3D design models with the 3D construction model. The VR model served as a sales tool for Hilton and Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau.

To address the shortage of skilled labor, Weitz, M/P engineer Waldinger, and Pivotek installed 300 bathroom pods that were built off site at Pivotek’s West Chester, Ohio, factory. This saved 11% in labor hours for each prefabbed bathroom and saved 7.5% in total construction costs.


Photo: Phillip Nicolino.


The team used 12 modular components—drain assemblies, PEX risers, aquatherm pressurized piping, framing, and pre-hardware doors. Weitz calculates the use of prefab components saved 3,750 trips to collect materials or remove trash from the job site.

The project was delivered 10 days ahead of schedule. Hilton took occupancy 30 days sooner than planned.+


Building Team — Submitting firm The Weitz Company (developer/design-builder) Owner Polk County, Iowa Hotel consultant Project Management Consultants Design architect DLR Group AOR RDG Planning & Design SE Raker Rhodes Engineering CE Snyder and Associates M/P The Waldinger Corp. EE Baker Electric Interior framing/finish Allied Construction Services

General information — Size 336,000 sf with conference space Cost $101 million Construction time April 2016 to March 2018 Delivery method Design-build lump-sum public-private partnership


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