The New York City Construction Market

April 1st, 2020|

April 01, 2020 10:40 AM As COVID-19 continues to spread, markets worldwide are feeling the effects. The construction industry in the United States is no exception, with impacts on material deliveries, project funding, and the ability of workers to remain on site all under extreme strain. Prior to COVID-19, New York continued the trend as the largest and most dominant construction market in the United States, with an estimated value of $62.2 billion of new construction put in place. That’s almost $20 billion more than Los Angeles and Dallas, which were the second- and third-biggest markets, respectively. Activity in New York City was already slowing down but this has been expedited with COVID-19. The economic effects on construction are highly dependent on how quickly and comprehensively the virus continues to spread. New York’s recent decision to halt all non-essential construction takes the industry into unchartered waters. That said, the construction industry is an agile one; already, design teams and consultants are utilizing work-from-home options and online meetings to keep business moving along with as few disruptions as possible. The biggest [...]

Hospitality industry hums, especially five-star sector

February 11th, 2020|

February 10, 2020 05:00 AM New York City has long been a destination for tourists around the world, and its hospitality sector is vital to keeping it that way. In recent months, the five-star sector has thrived and providers of mid-range accommodations have had to raise their game to stay relevant. To gain insight into where the sector is heading, Crainʼs Content Studio recently spoke with Nicky Unkles, vice president of Lehrer Cumming, the East Coast project management division of the international project and cost management firm Cumming. Unkles has been a leader in project management services within the construction industry for more than 15 years. In addition to managing major projects in New York City, he has led hotel developments in South Florida, the Caribbean and the UK. As vice president, Unkles is responsible for aligning with hotel brands and operators to drive all facets of the design and construction process – from planning and feasibility, to scheduling, cost estimating, permitting and closeout. Crainʼs: What key trends have you seen in New York Cityʼs hospitality market during the past [...]

Protecting Development Projects Now From the Next Economic Downturn

February 10th, 2020|

By Lehrer Cumming | February 10, 2020 8:49 am With many economists and industry publications discussing a potential downturn in the coming months, it is worth considering how you can protect your project from a declining economy and ensure that it stays on track for a successful completion. How do we know we are headed for a downturn? In short, we don’t — not with full certainty. It could well be the case that the economy continues to chug along for the rest of 2020 and beyond, despite expert predictions. However, those expert predictions are based on a number of historically reliable indicators, two of which are becoming more and more evident in the NYC market. “There is an increasing number of foundation subcontractors seeking work, and we are seeing better-than-expected responses to check pricing requests across all trades,” explains Gavin Middleton, chief operating officer at NYC-based Lehrer Cumming. “These are reliable indicators that the market is slowing.” Based on these and other recent trends, more and more economists and industry-watchers agree that a downturn is likely in the near [...]

Delivering on the Promise of Design-Build

January 15th, 2020|

BY LEHRER CUMMING NOVEMBER 11, 2019 8:43 AM BY LEHRER CUMMING JANUARY 13, 2020 11:46 AM The Office of the New York Governor has embraced the design-build delivery method for construction, and now a number of large projects are proceeding under this approach for agencies such as the New York State Department of Transportation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Empire State Development Corporation. The largest of these, and one of the few which is a building project, is the $1.6 billion expansion of the Javits Convention Center, which is currently progressing on schedule and within budget. Although the design-build methodology is a fairly new concept in the New York building market, it has proven quite successful in other locations and looks to become even more popular going forward. With this in mind, it’s worth taking a closer look at this alternative delivery method. The reason for design-build’s growing acceptance is simple: It offers the opportunity for a fast-track schedule with less risk to the owner, and it encourages the builder to plan ahead to [...]

JV Scores Largest Construction Loan in Fort Lauderdale History

December 10th, 2019|

Madison Realty Capital provided $210 million for the development of Broward County’s first five-star project. DEC 10, 2019 By Adriana Marinescu Developers behind the first five-star project ever to rise in Broward County, Fla., have landed the largest residential construction financing in city history. Fort Partners and Merrimac Ventures secured a $210 million loan for the construction of The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale, a luxury 22-story hotel and condo development underway in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Madison Realty Capital provided the loan in the deal. The developers broke ground on the project in 2018 and completion is slated for 2021, with Coastal Construction as general contractor and Lehrer Cumming as construction manager. Architect Kobi Karp and landscape architect Fernando Wong designed the building and its surroundings, while Tara Bernerd and Martin Brudnizki will offer interior design services. Another combination of hotel and luxury residences is taking shape under the same brand in New Orleans. There, a joint venture will redevelop a vacant 33-story building into a Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences property slated to open in [...]

Construction Growth Outpaces the Workforce

November 11th, 2019|

BY LEHRER CUMMING NOVEMBER 11, 2019 8:43 AM Several years after enduring a precipitous downturn, the construction industry is dealing with an equally ominous threat: widespread labor shortages. A serious gap exists between the upcoming demand for labor and the number of available workers with the skills needed to fill those positions. With construction spending in New York City growing faster than the labor pool, the local market is desperately trying to keep pace. “Owners are always seeking better ways of expediting the delivery of projects,” said Gavin Middleton, Chief Operating Officer at Lehrer Cumming, a growing NYC-based owner advisory firm. “But this often requires more manpower and extended shifts for an already extended labor market.” Gavin Middleton, Chief Operating Officer, Lehrer Cumming According to FMI’s 2019 Industry Outlook, total construction spending in the Mid-Atlantic region (including New York, but also New Jersey and Pennsylvania) should increase 5 percent year over year, from $153.6 billion to $161.3 billion. The trend will hold in coming years as well, with spending expected to increase at a rate of 4.5 percent [...]

Four Seasons hotel and condos to open on Fort Lauderdale beach next year

April 18th, 2019|

By David Lyons | Contact Reporter South Florida Sun Sentinel Fort Lauderdale is getting a new 22-story hotel and condo project on the beach. The luxury Four Seasons is on track to open by late next year, its developer said Wednesday. The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences will rise at 525 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., with more than 50 percent of the units already sold, said Nadim Ashi, the Miami developer. Ashi’s Fort Partners also announced the hiring of Coastal Construction Group of South Florida to build the development. The structure will include 130 rooms and 90 residences that will range in size from one to four bedrooms. Each residence will have an outdoor terrace with views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Also included will be two restaurants, a spa, fitness center, children's recreation room and ballroom and meeting facilities. Ashi and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis appeared at the Four Seasons sales gallery — at the Hilton next to the now empty Four Seasons lot — to announce the retention of Coastal as the general [...]

Lehrer, LLC, a New York-Based Construction Advisory Firm, Merges with Cumming

August 5th, 2018|

By Jessica Busch  |  jbusch@ccorpusa.com  |  Cumming today announced a merger with Lehrer, LLC, expanding the breadth and depth of the company’s expertise and enabling it to provide unmatched owner advisory services to its growing East Coast client base. The merger will combine Lehrer, LLC with Cumming’s operations in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami, resulting in a new Cumming division called Lehrer Cumming. The new division will focus on providing project management and related services throughout the eastern U.S. and will operate under the day-to-day leadership of Peter M. Lehrer, CEO at Lehrer, LLC. Gavin Middleton, former COO of Lehrer, LLC, and Derek Hutchison, Cumming’s EVP in New York, will serve as Executive Vice Presidents for Lehrer Cumming. Finlay Cumming, founder and CEO of Cumming, will provide overall leadership for the entire company. By joining forces, Cumming’s total head count increases to approximately 700 team members across 31 offices, and its NYC team expands to 80. “Our decision to merge with Lehrer, LLC enables us to provide the unmatched value and personalized service of a boutique company, while at the [...]

From a Convention Center’s Roof, ‘Walk-Off Vegetables’

June 5th, 2018|

The New York Times  |  By James Barron  |  June 24, 2018   Alan Steel dreams of “walk-off vegetables” the way the beleaguered subspecies known as Mets fans dreams of walk-off homers. At this moment in another season of disappointment, Mr. Steel’s dream seems more likely, although patience is required, just as it is required with the Mets. The first crop won’t be planted until 2021. Mr. Steel is planning a farm in the sky, on the roof of the extension being built at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the Far West Side of Manhattan, where he is not only the principal proselytizer for urban agriculture, but also the president and chief executive. “It gives us a story,” he said, and not just a story that could lead to bookings downstairs, because these days, as he quickly pointed out, “a lot of conventions are about sustainability.” The story of rooftop farms is one that says something meaningful can be done with the last batch of unused real estate in an increasingly crowded city. Something useful. That could have important consequences for the cityscape, but seeing [...]

At Lehrer, Changes in Construction Practices Requires a Holistic Approach to Technology

April 11th, 2018|

The Architects Newspaper  |  By Robert Nieminen  |  April 5, 2018   If a company is looking to affect change in the AEC industry, where does it start? Artificial intelligence and machine learning are sexy (in a nerdy kind of way), but practical application is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. That intersection is where Dareen Salama, director of technical services at design and construction advisory firm Lehrer, LLC, found herself upon completing her Master of Science in Civil Engineering & Construction Management from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and entering the workforce. As the complexity of construction projects continues to grow due to advances in technology, Lehrer guides owners, developers and institutions through the process. “I started here in New York and realized [there’s a] divide between what is possible in terms of technology and what is really implemented in the industry,” she recalled. “So, then I took a step back and said, ‘OK, so let’s keep machine learning and artificial intelligence on the side for now and kind of focus on the practical applications that are there.’” The project [...]

Javits Center Expansion Aims to Defy Conventions

April 11th, 2018|

Engineering News-Record  |  By Tom Stabile  |  March 19, 2018 The government agency overseeing a $1.2- billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s far West Side took an unconventional route for a major New York City project: It bid its two-city-block-size effort as a design-build job. The atypical move almost immediately led to major program changes to the four-level truck marshalling facility that makes up half of the 1.2-million-sq-ft expansion, scrapping deeper foundations and switching the superstructure from steel to cast-in-place concrete. Those changes saved time and money compared with the original plan, while also improving key features of the overall project, which was ranks No. 5 on ENR New York’s Top Starts list (see story here). That was the whole idea, to tap into the collaborative thinking that design-build can afford, says David Thurm, executive vice president and Javits Center project lead at Lehrer, which is serving as owner’s representative for the Convention Center Development Corp. “This is a perfect example of that kind of creativity,” he says. The winning design-build team—led by Turner Construction and Lendlease, with [...]

My Summer Internship at Lehrer, LLC

August 28th, 2017|

Prior to my internship with Lehrer, LLC, I had no experience in the construction industry and very little knowledge of how it operates. Over the past three months, I’ve worked alongside several experienced Project Managers, learning a lot about this dynamic industry. This summer was nothing like an average internship – it was exciting, intriguing, and rewarding – and from the very beginning, I felt welcomed and valued by the Lehrer, LLC team. Working on-site at construction projects, I was in the midst of the excitement as concrete pours were completed, and witnessed many construction milestones being achieved. Seeing the construction take place firsthand constantly made me want to learn about the small but important details that make up a complex project. By being directly involved in the different projects, I could assist with tasks that contributed to a project’s progression and success, including FF&E packages and budget updates. Because Lehrer, LLC is a 25-person firm, I formed relationships with each team member and learned about their varied and unique backgrounds. I appreciate the collaborative atmosphere of the firm; it [...]

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