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Exterior of Element Moline

Utilizing P3 for Project Success

Utilizing P3 For Project Success

Originally built as a Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse in 1917 and last known as the O’Rourke Building, the six-story brick building located in downtown Moline will soon have new life as an extended-stay hotel – The Element by Westin, the first of its kind in Illinois. The Starwood branded hotel will share space with the future Chicago to Moline rail station and together, they will be known as The Q.

The Element is a combination of the adaptive reuse of an existing 59,000 s.f. historic warehouse plus a 17,000 s.f. four-story addition over the existing one-story loading platform. The result will be a 96-room hotel with pool, interior courtyard with fire pit and retail space. It also included the historic restoration of windows, exposed ceilings, floors and brick walls, elevator and spiral staircase.

What are P3’s?
The Q project, long in the making, is a perfect example of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) agreement between the public agencies and private sector entities. P3s have become attractive in the recent years because of a lack of public funding and an abundance of private-sector capital. These P3 efforts lead to increased property values and increased revenues for cities, and many of the P3 projects involve adding new revenue streams to city funds.1

The hotel portion of the Q is being privately developed through a partnership between the Amin Group out of California and Russell based in Davenport. The train station is a separate project with local, state and federal funding that is being led by public partners, including the City of Moline, Renew Moline, MetroLINK and other state and federal agencies. In total, there are more than 18 key stakeholders internally and externally, a few of which include:

  • Legat Architects
  • Illinois Historic Preservation Association
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Starwood and Marriott

Project Challenges
As with any project, there were many unique challenges along the way that had to be overcome at Element Moline, including:

  • Creative use of federal, state and local funding along with private development equity was utilized to push the project forward and ensure final scope requirements were met.
  • Coordination of two different contractors between the public and private side.
  • Coordinating contractors for different trade scopes of work. An overlap in the major building systems and façade construction required coordination, along with the challenges that come with a shared worksite, including materials deliveries and common workspaces. On-going collaborative coordination with all parties involved and daily meetings with field leadership from both sides were utilized during this project.
  • The Element Moline is the only Element hotel in U.S. that is an adaptive reuse project. An analysis of an efficient room layout was required to maximize the square footage. Due to the shape of the existing building, there are 13 different room layouts.
  • Russell’s in-house Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing (MEP) Project Manager analyzed the public side MEP to provide efficiencies to the private space to ensure a beneficial outcome for both public and private spaces.

Leveraging P3 Strategies
Community leaders can leverage P3 strategies to help dream big – especially relating to downtown / main street real estate developments. Since P3s involve numerous parties, having a partner to help navigate the process is crucial to a project’s success. In the case of The Q, Russell was able to add value in many ways, including:

  • Providing Owner’s Representative services in the development of the project, and as it progressed, Russell was selected as the Design/Builder for the new hotel.
  • Preparing presentations for the public entities to secure historic tax credits, approval from Renew Moline and to satisfy federal funding requirements.

As a contractor, we are excited to see this downtown Moline property come to life. As a member of the Quad Cities community, we are pleased to know that The Q is a significant factor in continuing to foster growth in our region.

The Element by Westin will be opening on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018. Click here to learn more.

See you then!

Notes / Sources: 
1: Source: P3World.com – https://www.p3world.com/public-private-partnerships-happening-even-small-cities-rural-areas-country