The west side of Midtown Manhattan is having a moment. For decades, the acres around the rail yards were largely seen as undevelopable given the industrial use. But now, Hudson Yards has activated the entire area as a mix of residential, office and retail buildings that have truly become a destination.
Brookfield Properties has joined in this vision with their new development, Manhattan West. The new neighborhood is being built on a platform over Penn Station storage tracks along Ninth Avenue and will ultimately include over 7Msf of office, retail, residential and hotel space, following the “work-live-play” model.
The hotel adds another draw—“stay.” Now under construction, which is led by Pavarini McGovern, the Pendry Manhattan West will add a five-star hotel to the many amenities that are drawing a growing number of companies to Manhattan West. As the first Pendry Hotel in New York City, Pendry Manhattan West will provide not only a place to stay, but also the meeting and conference facilities that Manhattan West businesses will require.
“The Manhattan West vision of creating a vibrant, 24/7, work-live-play destination comes together with the addition of Pendry Manhattan West to the complex’s expansive list of modern amenities,” said Ric Clark, senior managing partner and chairman, Brookfield Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners. “We are thrilled to partner with Pendry Hotels because of its strong, aspirational, design-and service-centric brand that will deliver a uniquely modern sensibility and help Manhattan West come alive.”
The 21-story hotel will feature 164 guest rooms including 30 suites, a restaurant, a lounge and terrace bar, plus meeting and event space.
Like all the Manhattan West buildings in the works, the Pendry has a striking aesthetic. Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the unique fa?ade undulates in and out, which, says Pavarini McGovern project manager Darren Allen, means extreme precision is necessary.“ Those waves create a very tight radius for coordinating with the exterior edge,” he says. “The curtainwall sits on the outside of that edge and has to match up exactly.”
Stone panels and a rain screen front the entire second floor, which houses the mechanical room. The team had to physically cut slots into the stone for the exhaust intake plenums of the mechanical systems, which are concealed by the rain screen. The panels were delivered in individual large pieces, so the team had to use a crane and hoist to place them.
“All of that had to be integrated with the concrete schedule to make sure the concrete doesn’t slow down while we get the panels placed,” he says. “There are a lot of moving parts.”
In this part of the city, that’s an understatement. Manhattan West alone is working on the interior of one office building, beginning construction on another, building the Pendry and completing the retail spaces, in addition to the three buildings that are already open and active. Added to the ongoing construction in Hudson Yards, the situation had all the makings of a coordination nightmare.
But the project team knew this and scheduled accordingly. First, the team worked months in advance to coordinate the many approvals needed to operate cranes in and around the Port Authority, Long Island Railroad and Amtrak tracks. Second, Brookfield planned ahead for the space they knew construction would need, building a platform over Dyer Avenue to serve as the loading dock and staging area.
“Until the elevators are online, every delivery comes to the Dyer Avenue overbuild,” says Allen. “It’s very helpful. It gets the trucks off the street and makes sure no one is flying loads in cranes above pedestrians.”
The various contractors on the site also share the same project office building and coordinate among themselves on an ongoing basis. That proximity leads to plenty of informal interactions, plus the teams meet with Brookfield’s MEP manager on a regular basis to coordinate across the jobs, and representatives from each project gather formally for a weekly sitewide safety meeting.
The Pendry Manhattan West is expected to top out this September and open in 2021. When that time comes, Allen says, the hotel will truly complement the active environment Brookfield is creating. “The Pendry will perfectly complement the business clientele moving into the neighborhood. Everything you need—whether you work there, live there or are visiting for business—will be within walking distance.”
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Jaros Baum & Bolles
Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP