All in the day of a Project Director….

His project development skills in the Spanish design and construction environment were instrumental in the successful negotiation, proposal, approval and implementation of multi-million dollar construction, service and FF&E contracts.

Vice President Design & Construction, Marriott Ownership Resorts.

All in the day of a Project Director….

This professional adventure began with a 100 page fax. It was a contract with architect sent by the Vice President Resort Design and Construction of Marriott Ownership Resorts. They wanted to pick my brains for impressions- and I was not impressed by its contents, for it was far too wide in scope and cost. I wrote a long fax and was invited to take a plane to Florida within 2 days. There, I was grilled relentlessly by seven executives- they were enthusiastic about new projects in Spain- but nervous of the risks in a new and unknown market to them. Jetlagged and re-eyed I gave as good as I got. I month later I was on the site, beginning to get my arms around the enormity of this project: $80m, 288 units, 56,000m2 of construction, 11 phases- all on a beachside Marbella plot of 6Ha.

First challenges were the compilation of a feasible budget for approval by the USA Execcom, that matched the scope- that of designing, constructing, equipping with FF&E and hotel style machinery for a phased occupancy MARRIOTT STANDARD turn key Resort. Once approved I then had to supervise the design to cost efforts of the architect to replicate or supersede the existing USA standards- all of this in a totally new marketplace. Such additional items such as a phased fire sprinkler system made engineering studies interesting. Mr Marriott himself corrected our location for air conditioning vents. And disputes with USA Standards where using linoleum in bathrooms and plasterboard walls provided us with a spirited defence of the existing and local methodologies, which were superior- in these cases. Regular cash-flow requirement updates had to be provided to Orlando Head Office.

Other challenges included the building, equipping and decorating of a Mock up unit in record time to define the Interior Decoration. These had an impact on the costs- as Sales Dept was very sybaritic! But also these lessons learned facilitated the interior plans of the units, with exact detailing of location of light switches and plugs, and their number, enhancing the project plans and therefore closing prices on those items. Next a purpose built and lightweight construction Sales Centre of 1,000m2 had to be built and occupied in record time. Half was for back of house- the rest decorated to a standard commensurate with the qualities of the eventual holiday units- right down to the FF&E and ID. This to be demolished to make way for the 11th phase of the resort. 

Parallel to these activities it was necessary to comply with the opening date of the Resort as the Sales dept were selling occupancy 1 year ahead. For this opening date, 40 units, fully functioning Central Facilities Building, restaurants, bars, gym, supermarket and beachside pool areas had to be open for business. Even though other phases of the resort were still under construction, these noisy and bothersome activities had to be totally shielded from the occupants of the Resort.

None of these factors were easy, and proactive management and detailed foresight of many aspects had to be tightly controlled and managed. The Resort opened on time to rave reviews- fully tested and functioning, a full $4m under budget. Further satisfaction was gained from awards gained from the American Resorts Development association for quality of design and interior design standards.

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Whether you are planning a substantial commercial development or a private property construction or conversion, the multitude of benefits available to you from Mark Lawson professional services will ensure that you have the tangible results that you deserve.