Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 33
floor pool and deck, a garden and 12,000 square feet of meeting
space. The complex will include a 4,000-square-foot yoga studio
business and two restaurants: The Sparrow on the rooftop and
The Terrace on the ground floor.
Tutor Perini broke ground on the hotel in September 2016 and
it is on pace to open in May 2018. As of the end of September,
crews were pouring the final floors and preparing to top out the
structure by the middle of October.
Reaching this milestone in the construction process has overcome several challenges. Dual brand hotels are becoming more
popular in the United States, but they still require a few special
considerations. The project was initially conceptualized as a
home for two Starwood Hotels & Resorts brands: Element, which
was retained in the final plan, and Aloft, a more stylized concept.
However, Aloft was ultimately dropped in favor of The Dalmar, a
boutique brand with no previous locations.
Because it's the first of its kind, there are no set model or
defined requirements for the Dalmar brand. An interior designer
that is acting independently from the architect of record must
conceptualize the hotel from scratch. "We're not following someone else's plan, we're making decisions as we go," Prince says.
Dalmar is intended to be a four- or four-and-a-half-star experience with upgraded finishes, custom furniture, softer towels
and improved toilet fixtures. Conversely, Element follows a
master design from its parent company for a standard three-star
extended stay hotel.
With no blueprint to follow, there are occasionally moments
where Tutor Perini must act as the arbitrator, balancing the hotel
designer's desire to create with the realities of cost and constructability. "You've got to reach that compromise with a little more
spending on the developer's part and a little less extravagance on
the designer's part," Prince says.
Just as it wants to mesh with its clients, Tutor Perini wants to
work with subcontractors that create good relationships. The
company looks for subs with proven track records, financial
stability and experienced management teams.
Those qualities are especially important to overcome the inherit challenges of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. The city is
a hot spot for building projects and laborers are in high demand.
By working with established local companies, Tutor Perini is
better able to get the workers it needs. "You want to work with
skilled subcontractors who have access to labor," Prince explains.
But south Florida subcontractors have their quirks. It's
common practice in the market for trade companies to pay their
laborers based on the numbers of pieces they install, rather than
by the hour. This helps keep costs aligned with projections since
people are paid only as work is completed, but it has the unintended consequence of encouraging laborers to skip time-consuming detail work to maximize their paychecks. "Piece work
has become the biggest challenge in getting work completed,"
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM