The Weitz Company

The Weitz Company

Built to last

A buzz of excitement hung in the air that April morning. Hundreds of business leaders, elected officials and other citizens had turned out for festivities celebrating the inaugural run of PHX Sky Train, the sleek and futuristic all-electric interterminal train system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Behind the scenes, general contractor The Weitz Company celebrated a more private victory for its role in the $1.58 billion project (right). In a year the Des Moines, Iowa-based company reached the ripe old age of 158—with its Phoenix offices celebrating a 35th anniversary—the company proved it never lost its innovative edge. Over the years, Weitz pioneered the development of precast concrete exterior wall construction and became one of the largest producers of architectural precast concrete.

Today, the company considers itself to be “on the forefront of utilizing such tools as lean practices, virtual design and construction, quality assurance and sustainable design to better service our clients and provide them with projects that meet their exact business needs,” President and CEO Len Martling toldThe Phoenix Business Journal.

Weitz’ other innovative projects in the Greater Phoenix area include Mayo Clinic, CityScape, Scottsdale Waterfront and Portland Place, the hip and stylish downtown Phoenix condos that withstood the economic tsunami that toppled similar projects.

What’s given The Weitz Company—along with its projects—such staying power?

The company grew from humble beginnings as a small carpentry shop founded in 1855 in Fort Des Moines, Iowa, by Charles H. Weitz, a German immigrant. The company ran as a family business for six generations before it became an employee-owned company purchased debt-free by 36 stockholders in 1995. It quickly grew from a $250 million general contractor to a $1 billion industry leader with 15 offices in the U.S.—including the Phoenix office at 5555 E. Van Buren—and Guam.  Egyptian construction company Orascom Construction Industries purchased The Weitz Company last year. Weitz officials say the company is now well-positioned to bring its innovation to construction projects abroad.

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The Weitz Company