Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lutron’s Commercial Energy Codes, Controls and LEDs Seminar

Lutron’s Commercial Energy Codes, Controls and LEDs Roadshow Comes to NYC! goes on the road to empower electrical contractors and engineers to exceed customers’ increasingly diverse LED controlling demands while complying with the latest energy codes.

Lutron Electronics, will visit 10 major markets in 2015 with a brand new seminar that will help electrical contractors and engineers better meet the increasingly diverse demands of customers, while complying with rapidly-changing energy codes.

The Commercial Energy Codes, Controls and LEDs Seminar will present attendees with impactful information and tools that will dramatically simplify the design, specification and installation of LED lighting controls in an increasingly energy-regulated world.

“We understand how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the latest advancements and changing regulations in the lighting and LED controls space. As a trusted advisor to our customers, we wanted to help untangle the information that is out there in a straightforward and informative way. That’s the precise intent of our Commercial Energy Codes, Controls and LEDs Seminar,” said Rick Angel, Senior Vice-President at Lutron.

National, state and local energy legislation is constantly changing making it challenging for industry professionals to stay on top of the latest direction of energy codes and energy-saving products. Electrical contractors and engineers are working on more and more major renovation and new commercial construction projects demanding that they be at the forefront of energy efficient products, including LED lighting control systems. Understanding the great need for information and guidance in this area, Lutron created the Commercial Energy Codes, Controls and LEDs Seminar to provide customers with information they can trust to help grow their businesses.

View training locations and schedule >

Lutron’s Commercial Energy Codes, Controls & LEDs Seminar will visit 10 major markets:
1.      Washington, D.C. - March 3
2.      New York – March 10
3.      Miami – March 12
4.      Houston - March 24
5.      Dallas - March 26
6.      Boston - March 31
7.      San Francisco - April 21
8.      Los Angeles - April 23
9.      Chicago - May 14
10.    Atlanta - May 21
For more information, contact your local Lutron Representative or email

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Construction Worker Crushed to Death at Barclays Center

A construction worker at Barclays Center was crushed to death today by several falling steel beams at the Brooklyn arena. The steel joists were intended for the green roof project which is currently underway at the arena. The construction worker was standing beside a flatbed truck when the load toppled over before they were fastened to a crane to hoist them into place.

Hardhat Peter Zepf was helping to move the massive beams — called joists — from a truck onto a hoist when four of the parts fell on him near the Atlantic Avenue side of the arena around 1:30 p.m., witnesses said.

“My signal man was crushed,” said a fellow construction worker. “

The load was top heavy, the truck driver unhooked it without being told, and it toppled right on top of him. I checked his pulse: he was there for half a second, and then he was gone.”

“We are all devastated by what happened,” said a spokesman. “All of us at Greenland Forest City Ratner Partners and Barclays Center extend our most heartfelt condolences to the worker’s family and friends.”

The company is working with investigators to figure out what caused the accident.

The iron worker was employed by steel erector James F. Stearns Company, a subcontractor of Bankers Steel.

Zepf was helping to assemble a vegetative green roof designed to beautify the Nets home, when he was hit by the falling beams just after 1:30 p.m., and went into cardiac arrest.

He was taken to Brooklyn Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was 52 years old.

The Department of Buildings and NYPD were investigating the accident Tuesday, but no violations have been issued.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Did You Know: Metal Shanties are Now Required on Jobsites?

Effective October 1, 2014, section 3303.16 of the NYC Building Code has been revised to require non-combustible shanty construction whenever a contractor’s shanty/office is within 30 feet of another shanty/office or within 30 feet of new construction or existing buildings.

The NYC Department of Buildings is trying to move the industry toward non-combustible construction in the majority of installations. New York City Shanty is the only compliant company.
Click above for more information

Friday, February 20, 2015

Harlem’s Tallest Building Close to Breaking Ground

A large vacant lot between 124th and 125th streets, opposite the Metro-North station, will soon sprout Harlem’s tallest building. Rising up to 325 feet, 1800 Park Avenue will soon host a 24-story apartment tower housing 670 apartments across 486,500 square feet, with 73,460 square feet of retail space at street level. The project is being developed by Bruce Eichner‘s Continuum Company, which recently received financing to begin construction of an 800-foot condominium tower at 45 East 22nd Street, near Madison Square Park.

Despite slicing eight stories off the top of the original design, the new 325-foot residential structure will be the tallest building in Harlem, towering over the neighborhood with extraordinary views of the river and Central Park.

At 24 stories, 1800 Park Avenue will top the 19-story State Office Building on West 125th Street by a noticeable margin.

The Continuum Company picked up the 37,000 square-foot development site on the western side of Park Avenue for $65 million last year, and has hired ODA Architecture to design the project.

The site wraps the entire eastern end of the block between Madison and Park and East 125th and 124th streets.

Under New York City’s 80/20 program, 20 percent of the development’s 670 apartments will be set aside for affordable housing, while 536 of the apartments will rent at market-rates.

An East Harlem community board recently voted to approve a special zoning variance that will allow the project to include more retail space and less parking. Present zoning mandates that building developers provide parking spaces for 40% of all residential units.
“We think the trade-off between parking and retail is beneficial to the neighborhood,” said George Sarkissian, of Community Board 11, of the massive mixed-use project.

Construction on the retail portion of the project should be ready for occupancy within 24 months.

The 63,200 square-feet of ground floor and second-story retail will cut available parking to just 123 spots for the 670 unit complex.  Originally, the second floor was to have a garage with 304 parking spaces for building residents.

When completed, 1800 Park Avenue will have an indoor and outdoor lounge, a library, game room, exercise room and space for 343 bicycles to park, while reaching into the skyline as Harlem’s tallest structure.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Massive $550M Hells Kitchen Project to Begin in Spring

TF Cornerstone has landed a $384 million construction loan for its massive 1.2 million-square-foot development at 606 West 57th Street in Hell's Kitchen. The  $550-million rental building will contain 1,028 rental units, with 206 of those set aside for residents earning 60 percent of the area’s median income. The property will also house 38,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, parking for 400 vehicles, and a public pre-kindergarten school.

Standing just 42-stories, height is not the focus here... the structure is about sheer density.

606 West 57th Street will be composed of two 28-story structures with a 14-story cube cantilevered on top; it seems that even when overhangs aren’t necessary, they are becoming a common feature to new construction these days.

The stacking of multiple boxes will help to create a building that isn’t completely overbearing, allowing light and air through the structure itself.

The committee vote came after reaching a deal with the developer that adds an additional 10,000 square feet of “affordable housing” that would be affordable only to the top end of middle-income families, earning roughly $150,000 a year.

Those 15 new units would bring the total amount of affordable housing to 206 units.

The council members were focused on the neighborhood surrounding the West 57th Street development, where they feel there is a need for moderate-income housing that could go to people who presently live in the community.

Extell Development’s massive Riverside Center South on the Hudson River, between West 59th and 72nd streets, already includes hundreds of such, so-called, "affordable" units.

The developer agreed to a smaller garage with fewer parking spaces, to build a public pre-Kindergarten school, and to employ only union builders and staff the complex with 32BJ employees. The project will include 38,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and underground parking for up to 400 cars.

The site is currently occupied by several low-slung buildings, and plans are moving forward for demolition.

TF Cornerstone anticipates construction will begin later this spring and will take two years to complete.

Across the street, another transformative residential project – The Pyramid – is moving forward. Most of the attention 57th Street receives is focused between Broadway and Park Avenue, but the street’s largest developments are, in fact, on the Hudson River.

Demolition on an existing garage structure and shuttered car dealership is still underway. TF Cornerstone will begin construction this spring and expects the rental building to be completed in the spring of 2017.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Barclays Center 100% Affordable Building Set to Rise

Preparation is now underway for construction of Pacific Park’s newest building at 30 Sixth Avenue. The 23-story project will sit on the 22-acre mega-development (formerly known as Atlantic Yards) at the northeastern corner of Sixth Avenue and Dean Street. The building will house 305 rental apartments for low-, middle-, and moderate-income tenants, and include 20,000 square feet of retail space, a health-care facility, and a 73-car parking lot. Groundbreaking is set for June of 2015.

The new residential building, designed by Brooklyn’s SHoP Architects, will be a boxy 23-story building housing 305 rental apartments spread over 321,000 square feet, with an average apartment size of about 1,050 square feet – larger than most new market-rate buildings in the area.

30 Sixth Avenue will rise 218 feet into the air adjacent to Barclays Center between Pacific and Dean Streets.

All of the building’s units will be priced affordable for low-, middle-, and moderate income tenants.

The building will have a healthcare facility on the second floor, and a gym, yoga, and children’s playroom on the eighth floor, and an underground garage with parking for 73 vehicles.

Plans call for 12 apartments each on floors two through six, 16 each on the seventh and eighth floors, and 13 to 16 apartments each on floors nine through 23.

Construction is slated to get underway in June.

Despite all the setbacks with other projects at Pacific Park, the partnership between Forest City Ratner and the U.S. arm of China’s Greenland Holding Group still plan to deliver 2,250 units of housing before 2025.

Construction, which has recently kicked off at 535 Carlton Avenue, is the first sign that Greenland USA aims to stick to its ambitious timeline for completing 15 buildings on the 22-acre site by 2025, after agreeing last year to buy a 70% stake in the project.

As with 30 Sixth Avenue, all of the 298-units at 535 Carlton Avenue will be designated as affordable.

The partnership also plans to immediately begin construction on a 275-unit market-rate condo building at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue.

Greenland Holdings is not a party to the troubled 32-story B2 BKLYN modular tower that suits partially built at 461 Dean Street.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Tower Construction Ready to Surge in LIC’s Court Square

The Court Square building boom rolls on and shows no signs of abating, as the number of large-scale residential projects about to get underway this year, continues to grow. In addition to work on the 57- story tower at  42-12 28th Street -- which at 635 feet, will become Queens’ Tallest Residential Building -- at least six more large high-rise developments are scheduled to break ground along the Jackson Avenue corridor during the coming months.

1.  43-25 Hunter Street  - 50 stories

Foundation work has been completed for the 509-foot residential building which is set to rise at just off Court Square. The project, designed by SLCE Architects, will be 970,000 square feet, with 19,400 square feet of ground floor retail.

The development is slated to house 974 apartments, 20 percent of which are set aside as affordable. The property will also include basketball courts, a yoga studio as well as a roof deck.

The project will be divided into two components, including a 14-story building next to a larger tower that will be 50 stories and 509 feet tall. The building will be the second tallest in Long Island City, after the 477-unit residential tower scheduled to rise at 42-12 28th Street.

Construction of 43-25 Hunter Street is expected to be completed in early 2017.

2.  Jackson East – 37 stories
3.  Jackson West – 28 stories

Just north of Court Square, the Long Island-based Lions Group will erect a complementary pair of residential towers fronting opposite sides of Jackson Avenue, just off Queens Plaza South. The new buildings will be named Jackson East (26-32 Jackson Avenue), and Jackson West (27-01 Jackson Avenue).

Jackson East
Jackson West
Designed by the Queens-based Raymond Chan Architects, the towers’ facades are an eclectic mix of glass and brick, with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies on upper-floor units.

The east tower will displace a one-story auto repair shop (once home to Bridge Plaza Electrical Supply), while the west tower will rise on the site of a recently shuttered gas station.

4.  44-12 Purves Street – 27 stories

It’s time to welcome another tower to the new Purves Street residential enclave.

Twining Properties has filed plans to develop a 27-story building with 165 residential units at 44-12 Purves Street (previously known as 27-19 44th Drive).

The 44th Drive end of the site was home to a recently-closed auto repair shop.

The new building will have 2,124 square feet of ground floor commercial space and rise to 282-feet tall.

44-12 Purves Street will stand directly across the street from 44-41 Purves Street, a 25-story, 284-unit building expected to be completed in 2017.

5.  27-19 44th Drive – 26 stories


Silvercup Studios purchased the land at 27-21 44th Drive (and three adjoining lots) for just over $21,000,000, where it plans to erect a 26-story, 145,000-square-foot residential building.

The new building, designed by GF55 Partners, will house 115 apartments with 6,780-square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

27-19 44th Drive will also stand at 282 feet.

6.  One Queens Plaza  - 18 stories


In addition to the Jackson Avenue towers, Raymond Chan Architects is also designing a 110-unit building at 42-20 27th Street called One Queens Plaza.

The 90,000-square-foot building will rise 18-stories and include 8,645 square feet of commercial space, and a 55-car parking lot. One Queens Plaza is also being developed by the Lions Group.

The residential building will be just a single stop from Manhattan along the N and R lines–meaning residents can be whisked from their apartments to Midtown in under five minutes.

The mini-tower will sit directly across 28th street form Heatherwood Development’s 57-story skyscraper at 42-12 28th Street.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Trinity Church to Build 44-Story Tower Next to American Exchange

Trinity Church has decided to knock down its 90-year old administrative office building at 68-74 Trinity Place to make way for a new 350,000-square-foot, 44-story mixed-use tower to be designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The new building will soar more than 450 feet and include a seven-story base dedicated to church activities and offices, topped by a 37-story condominium tower that will pay for the project and help keep the church coffers full.

Nestled amid the towers of the world’s biggest banks and finance companies, Trinity Wall Street, a relatively diminutive neo-Gothic structure built in 1846, might seem quaint.

But with assets estimated at more than $4 billion -- thanks to a colonial land grant of some 215 acres of downtown property by Britain's Queen Anne dating back to 1705 --Trinity Church is right at home with its wealthy neighbors.

Though its bank account would be the envy of most congregations, it is generating internal strife since the church must now decide how to best deal with its considerable real estate holdings.

The source of tension is the building code of its 90-year-old administrative office at 68-74 Trinity Place. Faced with a $33 million price tag for building-related work aimed at meeting 2018 code compliance, the church has decided to raze the existing structure and build a new, fully-compliant one for an estimated $250 million.

The church board voted on Wednesday to move forward with the project instead of embarking on a renovation of the two buildings that currently sit on the site.

The new structure will include a seven-story base dedicated to mission activities and related offices, topped by a 37-story residential tower, said a church spokesman, noting that "it will provide a source of revenue for the expansion of the church’s core ministry activities, which include philanthropic grant-making and homeless outreach."

The entrance to the residential tower will be on Greenwich Street, while the entrance to the church space will be on Trinity Place, with access via an existing pedestrian bridge across Trinity Place.

It will house a parish hall, facilities and offices for Trinity’s expanding ministry, the Sunday school and rooms for community organizations.

Pelli Clarke Pelli beat out a competing bid from Cook/Fox to design the building.

The next step in the process is the selection of a development partner said Trinity Real Estate President Jason Pizer, who anticipates a demolition of the existing buildings later in 2015, and completion by 2018.

In addition to its project in the Financial District, Trinity Real Estate is also looking into developing up to four luxury towers near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

The church was a major player in the 2013 rezoning of Hudson Square that will allow the institution to convert some of its 5.5 million-square-feet of office space in the neighborhood to residential use.

The church is presently seeking a partner to construct a 430-foot-tall, 300,000-square-foot residential building in Hudson Square, on a plot framed by Sixth Avenue and Canal, Grand and Varick streets.

The new tower will have a 444-seat public school at its base.

Trinity also has plans to develop 4 Hudson Square, a 1 million-square-foot development site between Hudson, Varick, Spring and Vandam streets where they plan to build one residential and one office tower.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

$750 Billion for Infrastructure Projects – With No Taxpayer Funds

Can you imagine an infrastructure bank loaning up to $750 billion to state and local agencies, using no federal funds? Congressman John Delaney of Maryland can, and has introduced legislation to create that loan program.  The Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084) is supported by both Democratic and Republican Representatives.

The Partnership to Build America Act provides assistance to states and municipalities that are looking to finance infrastructure projects. The legislation doesn’t add federal bureaucracy and requires zero appropriated funds.

No taxpayer money would support the American Infrastructure Fund.

Instead, it would funded by the sale of $50 billion worth of Infrastructure Bonds.

U.S. corporations would be incentivized to purchase the bonds by allowing them to repatriate a certain amount of their overseas earnings tax free for every dollar they invest. Almost $2 trillion of corporate cash is sitting overseas.

What will the Partnership to Build America Act do?
  • Finance the rebuilding of our country’s transportation, energy, electrical, communications  and water infrastructure through the creation of an infrastructure fund using repatriated corporate earnings.
  • The American Infrastructure Fund would leverage the $50 billion of bonds at a 15:1 ratio to provide up to $750 billion in loans or guarantees.

What are the benefits of the Partnership to Build America Act?
  • Creates a large-scale infrastructure financing capability with zero federal appropriations.
  • Could finance $2 trillion worth of infrastructure and create more than 3 million jobs over 50 years.
  • Creates significant jobs in the short-term and helps U.S. competitiveness in the long-term. 
  • Drive the U.S. economy forward with massive infrastructure investments.
  • Ensures that U.S. corporations’ tax savings are invested in the U.S. economy to grow quality jobs.

We need to encourage our legislators to support this legislation.

Right now, the bill has 75 cosponsors (39 Republicans and 36 Democrats) in the House. The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by 6 Democrats, 7 Republicans, and 1 Independent.

 ** Click Here **  to tell your representative to cosponsor The Partnership to Build America Act!  

Congressman Delaney has interesting background: He’s the only former CEO of a publicly traded company serving in the House of Representatives and has extensive experience as a successful entrepreneur.

More importantly, John Delaney grew up in a blue collar household -- the son of a union electrician.

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Developer to Build 3 Hotels, Supermarket & Apt Building in Jamaica

A Flushing developer is planning to build three Marriott-brand hotels in downtown Jamaica, near the LIRR and AirTrain station to JFK Airport. Chris Xiu recently purchased the site of the former Gertz department store on Archer Ave for $22 million in cash. The property, on the corner of Guy Brewer Boulevard at 163-05 to 163-25 Archer Avenue, is the largest development site in Jamaica.

Jamaica Tower LLC plans to construct two hotels — a Courtyard by Marriott and a Fairfield Inn and Suites — on Archer Avenue, near 149th Street.  Both hotels would be located in one building and will be built by Construction & Development Group of Flushing.

The new 16-story building will contain more than 330 hotel rooms, with 224 rooms planned for Courtyard, while Fairfield Inn and Suites would have 114 rooms.

Plans for the Archer Avenue hotels were approved by the Department of Buildings in August.

Mr. Xiu, who has built several hotels in Flushing, near LaGuardia Airport, and in Chinatown, also plans to build an apartment building and a supermarket on Archer Avenue, near Guy Brewer Boulevard.

The development site, which consists of two adjacent lots with nearly 90,000 square feet, includes an unused seven-story parking garage and several shops, and can accommodate of 720,000 square feet of new construction.

The developer intends to demolish the garage at 163-25 Archer Avenue, and replace it with market-rate housing with several hundred apartments.

He is also planning to replace the existing stores located at 163-03 thru 163-17 Archer Avenue with a large supermarket.

Jamaica Tower is also planning to build six-story hotel — a Springhill Suites by Marriott — at different development site located on Queens Boulevard, between Jamaica and Hillside avenues. That hotel will feature 160 rooms.

A representative from Marriott has confirmed that all three hotels are in development, and expects the hotels to be open for business within three years.

Downtown Jamaica, which has been dynamically changing in recent years, has become a major transportation hub since JFK’s AirTrain station opened in 2003.

And since the neighborhood is only minutes from the airport, at least a dozen new hotel and real estate developments have been planned for the area.

Councilman Peter Koo believes the projects will bring hundreds of new jobs to the neighborhood.

“When you build hotels, you bring prosperity to the community,” Koo said, adding that hotels attract tourists, who spend money in the neighborhood when they “shop for souvenirs, eat at local restaurants and call a taxi.”

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

$400M Development Plan for Industrial Red Hook

Fairway market and Ikea may soon have a very big neighbor. Estate Four, a Los Angeles firm known for devising stylish new uses for faded industrial properties, has an ambitious plan to construct a 12-acre, 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use complex called the Red Hook Innovation District. The $400 million project will develop the space between Coffey and Wolcott streets, and Ferris Street and New York Harbor. The plan includes offices, shops, performance spaces, public plazas and courtyards and a waterfront esplanade. The developer plans to phase in the project over five years.

The development boom of office and apartment towers that displaced warehouses and refineries along the Brooklyn waterfront has largely spared Red Hook.

Even the addition in recent years of a Fairway market and an Ikea store that attracted shoppers didn’t lessen much of the activity in Red Hook, which mostly revolves around the loading of freight onto trucks.

But this remote Brooklyn neighborhood may not be a bystander much longer.

Estate Four, a Los Angeles firm known for devising stylish new uses for faded industrial properties, plans to phase in the project over five years, at a cost of $400 million. The purchase of a final property in December gave the developer control of the entire 12-acre development site.

While the project will feature mostly new construction, Estate Four plans to preserve key parcels and plazas and courtyards will dot the site.

Among them is a three-floor factory complex that takes up an entire block at Coffey and Ferris Streets and whose oldest sections date to the 1800s.

The dilapidated 122,000-square-foot complex will be used to stage performances and large-scale art installations in soaring brick-walled rooms with 45-foot high ceilings.

A century ago, the building was home to the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, which produced cable-car construction equipment, used to build dams, like one at the Croton Falls Reservoir.

Still, given that the site is situated just a few yards from the water and flooded in 2012 along with much of the neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy, protection from future flooding damage is a high priority.

The new buildings in the Red Hook Innovation District will not have basements and will sit about three feet higher than what is there today, the developer said.

Red Hook has been promised a $200 million flood-protection system, which as of this winter is a step closer to reality.

To blend in with the existing manufacturing buildings, the overall design includes brick facades for the lower stories, with paned windows found in older factories.

Multilevel glass additions will rise from their roofs.

Ranging from 215,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet, the buildings will offer offices upstairs and stores. Architect Will Robertson, of the firm NBBJ, is designing the bulk of the project.

Part of the project will entail removing a central section of the building, opening Dikeman Street all the way to the water’s edge and creating two acres of public parkland with a promenade. A long pier will tie that park to an existing one on Coffey Street.

Estate Four will also preserve a former printing plant for The Daily News, in operation from the 1950s to 1990s that is now a storage facility for Snapple beverages.

While New York Water Taxi already provides regular ferry service from Manhattan to the Fairway Market and Ikea, the developer is pushing for the ferry to add a new stop at the Atlantic Basin, which would be closer to his development.

A few blocks away, at 160 Imlay Street, the firm is at work converting a six-story concrete warehouse once occupied by Montgomery Ward and Company into luxury condominiums.

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