Reporters, PR men and honchos from Forest City Ratner and modular manufacturer Skanska gathered today in the cold and considerable shadow of Barclay’s Center to witness the hoisting into place of the first of the modular units in Atlantic Yards’ B2 residential tower, which aims to become the world’s tallest modular building upon its completion, slated for late next year. Of the tower’s 363 units, 181 will qualify as affordable housing—a considerable figure in terms of both quantity and percentage, particularly in comparison to prevailing proportions of market rate/affordable units included in new city construction.
The building schedule called today for the placement of three adjacent “mods,” Skanska’s Elizabeth Miller told The Observer, which together will compose a single apartment. Appliances, fixtures and plumbing had already been installed; all that remained to make the habitat functional was to tie into the building’s central electrical and water lines, which have yet to arrive. No word was forthcoming on whether the apartment assembled today might be one of those destined for affordable rental rates.
Bruce Ratner did not win out with the tax man this week, but he has secured an even bigger deal with another New York City institution that will be a linchpin for his Atlantic Yards project. Today, Forest City Ratner announced it is going forward with its long-planned intentions to build a modular apartment tower as part of the 22-acre arena-anchored mega-development. The project is made possible in large part through an agreement with the city’s labor unions to allow the 32-story prefab apartment building to proceed.
Modular construction has long been a dream of architects, for its efficiency and control, and now it could be a boon for New York City developers as well, since prefab methods can save 20 to 30 percent from traditional design methods. The only issue is for construction workers. Because the projects are built in factories, even when using union labor, the jobs tend to be less skilled and thus lower paying. Many labor unions had bridled at this, especially since Mr. Ratner had made extensive promises about the well-paying jobs Atlantic Yards would provide. But today the Building and Construction Trades Council announced its support for the development, saying that the prefab builders will get their own division within the labor group.
Two of the city’s biggest general contractors have lied about their hiring of women-and-minority-owned subcontractors for some of New York’s biggest project, including the Fulton Stree Transit Center downtown and the Croton Water Treatment Plant in the Bronx, both multi-billion dollar undertakings.
According to The Times, prosecutors from Brooklyn are approaching a $20 Read More