Construction Manager Selected for Max Planck Florida Institute

Jupiter, Florida, April 17, 2009

The Max Planck Florida Institute has selected the joint-venture partnership of The Weitz Company and DPR Construction, Inc. as construction manager to build its 100,000-square-foot biomedical research facility at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, Fla.

“The Max Planck Florida Institute will be a world-class facility for bioimaging research in Palm Beach County, and we feel this team had the specific experience and knowledge plus profound capabilities to deliver on this promise,” said Dr. Claudia Hillinger, Vice President of Institute Development for the Max Planck Florida Institute.

The team of Weitz and DPR were also responsible for building the 350,000-square-foot Scripps Florida campus, which is adjacent to the Max Planck Florida Institute site.

“The Weitz/DPR team looks forward to its role in building another chapter in the development of the life sciences industry in Palm Beach County. Being selected today is important in a context larger than the news of our companies being charged with the construction of the Max Planck Florida Institute building. This contract is an important step in building lasting relationships with world-class research institutes like the Max Planck Society and companies in this sector,” said Deborah Beetson, regional manager of DPR Construction’s West Palm Beach office.

Founded in 1855, The Weitz Company is a national full-service general contractor, design-builder and construction manager with 25 offices in the U.S. and Guam, including Florida offices in West Palm Beach and Hollywood. Locally, Weitz handled the construction of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach and recent renovations to The Breakers in Palm Beach. Nationally, the company has completed Grinnell College Noyce Science Center in Grinnell, Iowa; Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Building in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and the National Jewish Medical Research Center in Denver, Colo.

DPR Construction, ranked among the top 50 general contractors in the country for the last 10 years, is a national commercial general contractor with 15 offices around the country, including a West Palm Beach, Fla. office. With annual revenues in excess of $1.7 billion, DPR has the largest percentage of LEED-accredited professionals on staff of any general contractor in the nation and has been at the forefront of the green building movement, boasting a resume of more than $1 billion in green building projects.

Specializing in technically complex and sustainable projects for the life sciences, advanced technology, healthcare and corporate office markets, DPR is ranked as the second largest pharmaceutical contractor in the country by industry publication ENR. In addition to Scripps Florida, the company has been involved in 60 projects with The Scripps Research Institute over the last eight years. Other signature projects include the United Therapeutics, Solid Dose Manufacturing Facility in Raleigh, N.C.; the University of Virginia Foundation, Advanced Research and Technology Building in Charlottesville, Va.; the University of California, San Francisco Institute for Regeneration Medicine in San Francisco, Calif.; and the Genentech, Cell Culture Plant 2 Manufacturing Facility in Vacaville, Calif., a 450,000-square-foot expansion making it the largest biotechnology fermentation facility in the world.

The construction manager for the Max Planck Florida Institute was selected based on conditions and criteria set forth in the agreement with Palm Beach County, including experience in the construction of complex, major educational, institutional, industrial and research projects. The RFP specified that three of those projects should have been completed within the last 10 years, and each have a value of more than $50 million. Firms also needed to demonstrate experience in managing and executing LEED-certified projects, maximize involvement of local business and a 15-percent commitment to Small Business Enterprise (SBE) throughout the construction program.

Washington, D.C.-based Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP is the architect for the facility. Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., a financial and professional services firm, serves as the program manager that will oversee development and construction.

Construction on the Max Planck Florida Institute is expected to begin in the Spring 2010, and is scheduled for completion by Fall 2011.

About Max Planck Florida Institute

In March 2008, Max Planck Florida Corporation entered into an agreement with the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development (OTTED) for $94 million from the Innovation Incentive Fund. In July 2008, the Board of Palm Beach County Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation of $86.9 million to build and operate a 100,000 square facility on six acres on FAU’s MacArthur campus in Jupiter, adjacent to Scripps Florida. The total value of the agreement with Palm Beach County and the partners in the deal, including FAU and the Town of Jupiter, is $94 million, which matches the amount from the State.

Germany’s Max Planck Society is an independent, non-profit scientific research organization. With an annual operating budget of $1.8 billion and 81 institutes located through the European Union and now in the United States, the Society pioneers research at the frontiers of human knowledge in the natural sciences, life sciences, and the humanities. It has 17 Nobel Prize Laureates to its credit since its inception in 1948, a staff of 13,000, and an additional 12,000 fellows of the International Max Planck Research Schools, doctoral students, post-doctoral students, assistants and visiting scientists.

Research at the Max Planck Florida Institute will focus on bioimaging, using the most advanced techniques to visualize microscopic molecular processes. Bioimaging provides a critical opportunity to translate discoveries of basic research into clinical and patient-oriented applications, which can ultimately be used to help improve medical diagnostics and medical care. The Florida-based institute plans to collaborate with Scripps Florida on health-oriented research applications, and has established relationships with FAU and other universities, as well as with the Palm Beach County K-12 School District and Palm Beach Community College to enhance and advance bioscience programs at all levels of education.

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County anticipates that Max Planck Florida will support the creation of more than 1,800 jobs --- both directly and indirectly --- over the next two decades, and generate more than $2 billion in economic activity.