The Weitz Company breaks ground on The Colonnade Campus

The Colonnade, Sunrise, Arizona

The Colonnade, Sunrise, Arizona

The Weitz Company announces the most recent groundbreaking within Sun Health’s Arizona Retirement Community. Phase three of the expansion of The Colonnade Campus is now underway at 14790 West Goldwater Ridge Drive in Surprise, Ariz.

“The Weitz Company is excited to begin the next phase of the Colonnade Campus, continuing our trusted partnership with Sun Health,” says Mike Bontrager, executive vice president, The Weitz Company. “Our employees enjoy creating a senior living community that enhances the quality of life for Colonnade residents.”

Weitz broke ground on Thursday, January 15 on The Colonnade Campus expansion, which consists of the addition of two four-story buildings with underground parking. Each building will feature 36 residential units. A common area is also being constructed between the two new buildings, which will feature a BBQ, fireplace and waterfall. Planters will be added on the north side of each building for residents to plant their own gardens.

The project architect is Orcutt Winslow Partnership (OWP).






The Weitz Company Names Industrial Business Development Vice President

Jason Robertson, VP of Business Development

Jason Robertson, VP of Business Development

The Weitz Company, a national full-service construction firm, announces the addition of Jason Robertson to lead business development operations for the Weitz Industrial segment.

Robertson, with more than 17 years in the construction industry, brings significant experience in working with owners to understand their design and building needs and wants to help create the best result possible. As Vice President of Business Development for Weitz’s rapidly growing Industrial segment, Robertson joins the Industrial leadership team with a focus on developing the company’s relationships and seeking new business opportunities.

“We are delighted to have Jason join the Weitz team. He possesses the business acumen, technical knowledge and spirit of collaboration that will help Weitz continue to expand our national footprint,” said Humberto Lopez, Executive Vice President of the Weitz Industrial segment.

Robertson graduated from Northwestern College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Finance with a minor in Marketing.




Senior Living Construction Cost Data Revealed for 2015

The American Senior Housing Association (ASHA) and leading national construction firm The Weitz Company have published the results of their bi-annual cost of construction Special Issue Brief for Senior Living Construction.

“We continue to see moderate inflation across the country and even the last markets to recover from the recession are seeing costs return to pre-recession levels,” says Larry Graeve, senior vice president – Senior Living, The Weitz Company.

The following table illustrates the latest trends for senior living construction costs per gross square foot.

Senior Living Cost Brief 2015

 Labor shortage a large factor in costs

The labor shortage continues to add pressure on construction costs. According to the Association of General Contractors of America, construction labor peaked at 7.5 million workers in 2007; today the US has an estimated 5.5 million workers. The average age of the construction employee is 54.

“Attracting enough skilled labor to the industry will be the challenge in coming years,” says Graeve. “Material price gains have been modest at a 1.4 percent annual rate. We anticipate the composite labor and material impact to be in the 3-4 percent range over the next 12 months.”

Cost considerations

Costs are full burden and include general conditions, insurance, tax, bond and fee, but exclude site construction costs. The above costs are based on a city index of 100. Each city carries a different index, for example: Tulsa, OK has an index of 82.1, which translates to a cost range of $97-$115 per square foot for Independent Living. Chicago, IL has an Index of 117.6, which translates to a cost range of $139-$165 per square foot for Independent living. These indices coupled with local market conditions are essential when comparing overall pricing.

Mid-level costs generally include wood-framed with standard amenities and finishes, typically targeting the moderate income senior. High-level costs generally include steel or concrete construction with high-end finishes and luxury amenities, typically targeting the higher income senior.

About The Weitz Company

The Weitz Company is a full-service general contractor, design-builder and construction manager, and the largest national builder of senior living projects in the US. For more information about The Weitz Company, visit

Two Weitz Projects Receive Honors at 2014 “Build Florida” Awards

The Florida East Coast Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has recognized The Weitz Company for excellence in construction for two prominent projects: a private-jet terminal at Palm Beach International Airport and a clubhouse at one of the country’s most prestigious golf communities. The awards were announced at the AGC’s “Build Florida” awards banquet on December 3 in West Palm Beach.

Weitz won top honors in the Building Construction category for the complete replacement of a 63,500-square-foot clubhouse at the Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach. The new clubhouse includes dining space, expansive dining terraces overlooking the golf course, a wine room in the cellar, vaulted-ceiling locker rooms, administrative offices, and golf cart storage.

The company received a Merit Award in the Building Construction category for the Signature Flight Support FBO, a fixed-base operator facility used exclusively by NetJets at Palm Beach International Airport. Working on the edge of PBIA’s flight path, Weitz coordinated many large-scale, pre-dawn concrete pours to build the six-acre tarmac. The sleekly modern 10,000-square-foot terminal building contains all the amenities needed by private jet travelers, including a conference center, crew lounge, and children’s entertainment center.

Founded in Des Moines, Iowa in 1855, The Weitz Company is a full-service general contractor, design-builder, and construction manager with office locations throughout the United States, including three in Florida (West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville). Weitz has built some of South Florida’s highest-profile projects, including the Scripps Research Institute and Max Planck Society facilities, both in Jupiter (and both in a joint venture with DPR Construction), and the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

Weitz Partners with Prairie Sky Seed on New Greenfield Seed Conditioning Facility & Warehouse

The Weitz Company, a national full-service construction firm, announces the completion of a new greenfield seed conditioning facility and warehouse in Hemingford, Neb. for Prairie Sky Seed. Weitz partnered with Mike Dunlap, agronomist, certified crop advisor and project consultant, KJWW Engineering, as the lead designer. Interstates Companies served as the design-build electrical contractor on the project.

Project planning and development started in May 2013, with Weitz, KJWW and Interstates working closely with Prairie Sky Seed over several months to develop the right solutions that fit the business needs. Weitz mobilized in November 2013 and completed facility startup and commissioning in July 2014.

Building with business needs in mind

Prairie Sky Seed is a growing family-owned company that produces wheat, oats, triticale, peas and cover crops. At the Hemingford, Neb. operation, Prairie Sky Seed partnered with Weitz to develop a state-of-the-art, fully automated seed conditioning facility equipped to clean, size, treat and package primarily wheat and oats.

Brad Hansen, operating officer of Prairie Sky Seed, had a clear vision of what he wanted the new facility to do. “Product quality and productivity are key components for our business growth,” says Hansen.

Prior to the development of the Hemingford, Neb. facility, equipment was a limiting factor for Prairie Sky Seed, as production was constrained to only conditioning 100,000 bushels of wheat per year. Through the first six months of operation in their new facility, Prairie Sky Seed has conditioned more than 600,000 bushels of wheat.

The new facility’s capacity is 500 bushels per hour (BPH) and is designed to allow upgrade to 1,000 BPH by installing a second conditioning line.

Technology eliminates risks, helps schedule management

The greatest opportunity on this project was the schedule. Prairie Sky Seed’s goal was to be fully operational by wheat harvest. Weitz provided a design-build solution with the ability to start construction without a 100 percent completed design.

“Working with Prairie Sky Seed using our design-build method created a huge advantage in controlling and condensing the schedule. We completed the design and construction within eight months, meeting Prairie Sky Seed’s expectations,” says Nick Welter, project manager, Weitz.

In addition, Weitz utilized KJWW’s 3D model to assist with design reviews, pre-planning, digital fabrication and clash detection to eliminate risks and better control project schedule. “No longer are designs just lines on paper, there is an intelligent 3D model in the background providing real-world accuracy and special relationships that doesn’t existing in 2D designs,” states Jeremy Cychosz, project manager, KJWW.

Startup and commissioning

Since startup in July 2014, Prairie Sky Seed’s Hemingford, Neb. facility has switched over from conditioning hard red winter wheat to conditioning oats. Through the first year of operations, Prairie Sky Seed’s new facility will condition and treat more than 750,000 BU of product.