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2 St. Ann’s Avenue Harlem River Yards Bronx, New York
2017 Jeffrey J. Zogg Build New York Award Winner.
The recently completed FreshDirect Campus at Harlem River Yards in South Bronx is a landmark for Schimenti Construction, marking both the company’s largest project and its first heavy industrial job. Here, Schimenti Construction transformed a barren and unused area into the new home of a dynamic, technology-focused company that supports the local community and is poised for even more growth. The new Campus relocates and consolidates FreshDirect’s facilities from Long Island City to one structure that houses all their food processing, warehousing, distribution and corporate headquarters.
This two-phase project incorporated unique features, such as thirteen miles of piping in the refrigeration system and the nine-mile-long conveyor belt system. Beginning in December 2014 and concluding September 1, 2017, the 650,000-SF ground-up project at 2 St. Ann’s Ave. yielded a final price tag of $225 million, of which Schimenti performed $150 million directly and subcontracted for $75 million. Other numbers are impressive, as well: 473,000 SF of interior space; 328,000 SF of roofing; 22,000 SF of exterior site work; and 38 loading dock bays.
Not only was the scale of the job enormous, so was its complexity, beginning with the twelve-acre site, which is both densely urban and directly adjacent to a busy highway bridge and CSX freight tracks. More than 4,000 workers from 100 different companies worked on the vast project, necessitating rigorous training, security and safety protocols. The 575,000-SF manufacturing facility and 75,000-SF office headquarters each posed unique functional challenges, such as strict refrigeration requirements that included freezers as low as -20° and training space that needed to be climate- and sound-controlled.
The challenges encountered on the FreshDirect Campus stemmed primarily from the site and from the changes made during construction. To accommodate the site’s proximity to the RFK Bridge and the active train tracks, Schimenti positioned a flagman to alert workers to train arrivals. The site’s soil needed to be screened and leveled, and 1,000 piles were driven to support the structure. Through the course of construction, more than 600 scope changes were made to design and specs; Schimenti staff responded with countless adjustments to remain on schedule and within budget, including opening the site on weekends and from 7:00 a.m. to midnight five days a week.
Using a value engineering approach on this cost-plus contract, Schimenti Construction found opportunities to save FreshDirect $15 million. To master the complexity of the job, the company used innovative project management tools to facilitate coordination, scheduling and communication. Foremost at every Schimenti site, safety measures at the sprawling Campus were enforced by hiring a third-party site safety manager.
Schimenti Construction’s Brian Kreidberg was project manager and Jeffrey Hogan was project executive. They were supported by a dedicated ten-member team of Schimenti employees. Architecture was by Cybul, Cybul & Wilhelm Architects of Edgewater, NJ.
“Coordination and transparency were paramount on a job of this scope,” said project executive Hogan. “Our team was laser-focused on getting and keeping all parties—Schimenti Construction, FreshDirect, the subcontractors and local and state authorities—working together safely and efficiently. Building this groundbreaking campus in this particular location was a challenge from beginning to end, but one that was well worth it. Not only did we create an amazing building, but we as a company stretched ourselves to successfully complete the largest, most complicated job in our twenty-five-year history.”
The ornate Walker Theater building in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn began a new act as a Target store when it opened on October 18. The renovation of the ninety-year-old structure retains and restores many of the theater’s original details, such as the balcony, chandeliers, pilasters, columns and other decorative features. The one-of-a-kind store played a starring role in Target’s annual fall meeting.
The one-floor sales space of the flexible format store, which is sized and tailored to the local community’s needs, occupies 22,000 SF at 6401 Eighteenth Avenue. The Walker Theater, named for New York City mayor James J. Walker, opened in 1927. Through six decades, the theater hosted live performances, films and even high-profile boxing matches before being converted to a four-screen movie theater in the 1980s. More recently, the building housed discount retail clothing shops.
Starting in February 2017, the Target project required two months of pre-construction and prep work, followed by five months of design and build for a September completion. The conversion included replacing steel and concrete in the building entrance and vestibule; installing all new mechanicals and water service; creating a new steel ceiling support system to expose the front edge of the old balcony; adding a new fire pump and electrical switchgear; and performing extensive asbestos abatement.
Keeping the spirit of the Walker Theater alive, many of the original plaster design elements and theater seats were restored and are viewable throughout the store. Among the rejuvenated historical elements are chandeliers moved from the old mezzanine to a prominent spot in the front rotunda, which also features a newly-restored plaster ceiling and decorative medallions. The balcony and rotunda plaster required three months of restoration and ornamentation work to bring them back to their former glory. Although the theater’s original Wurlitzer pipe organ was removed in recent decades, the pipes are preserved, protected and displayed in the mezzanine.
Retrofitting a Target store into this richly-featured structure presented numerous challenges, but the Schimenti team and its partners worked diligently throughout the planning, design and construction phases to devise creative solutions that honored the theater’s history. Many site-related challenges stemmed from the difficult logistics of receiving deliveries and organizing materials on-site, and from poor access to the mezzanine and basement, which house the HVAC and electrical equipment. Additionally, changes to lighting, millwork, refrigeration cases and the ten-ton air conditioning unit necessitated late-in-schedule adjustments to avoid cost overruns and delays.
The Target Bensonhurst team—led by senior superintendent Mike Watson, onsite logistics manager Patrick Fletcher, project manager Mike Bittner and project coordinator Adam Franco—worked under the guidance of project executive Charles Esteves. Watson and Bittner expertly managed subcontractors on a tight schedule during the busy season, while Franco oversaw deliveries to the offsite warehouse and multiple project sites. Watson and Fletcher kept workers from all trades tightly focused on a dedication to safety; Fletcher also oversaw the critical mezzanine and basement work.
“The successful completion of this complicated project required a tireless effort,” said Esteves, “and we are pleased to have accomplished a seamless turnover to Target. Our longstanding partnership with Target continues to be strong, and throughout this project, we worked to build a relationship with the Bensonhurst community to promote Target’s brand and image. At the end of this unique job, the entire Schimenti team can be proud to have ushered in the revival of this amazing building.”
On December 9 the entire Schimenti team of field operations and office employees joined together to bring another successful year to a close. The evening included great food, live music and lots of socializing – making a memorable time for all.
We wish you a Happy New Year
filled with peace, happiness and prosperity.
SAFETY & COMPLIANCE
On October 16, 2017 after months of revisions and deliberation, a new construction safetytraining legislation, (Intro 1447-C a.k.a Local Law 196) has been signed into law by New York CityMayor, Bill de Blasio. The new law will require increased safety training for all construction workers. Below are the key milestones and requirements for this new construction training law:
All workers on any construction project requiring a Construction Superintendent, a Site Safety Manager or a Site Safety Coordinator must complete one of the following training courses:
OSHA 10-hour class
OSHA 30-hour class or
100-hour training program (includes training received under apprenticeship program)
All onsite workers must have one of the following:
Site Safety Training (SST) Card - The SST Card requires:
OSHA 10-hour class plus 30-45 additional SST credits. The content of the 30-45
additional SST credits will be determined by an appointed safety taskforce; or
OSHA 30-hour class plus 10-25 additional SST credits. The content of the 10-25
additional SST credits will be determined by an appointed safety taskforce; or
100-hour training program
Limited SST Card
OSHA 10-hour class plus 20 additional SST credits. The content of these 20 additional
SST credits will be determined by an appointed safety taskforce; or
OSHA 30-hour class; or
100-hour training program
Card expires and is not renewable
Temporary SST Card
This card is good for 6 months, non-renewable, minimum requirement OSHA 10-hour class
Every Site Safety Manager, Site Safety Coordinator, Concrete Safety Manager,
Construction Superintendent or competent person must have a SST Supervisor Card
SST Supervisor Cards expire after 5 years but are renewable by completing 16 SST
credits in the year prior to renewal
Exact timing will be determined at a later date – All onsite workers must have:
Either a SST Card or a Temporary SST Card
Failure to comply will result in violations and fines. Violations may not be not lifted until the workers are able to provide proof of required training.
Click below for the full written law on the New York City Dept. of Building website.
New locale is three times larger than old Hershey’s property.
Schimenti Construction has completed work on a new Hershey’s Chocolate World in Times Square. Located at 701 7th Avenue in the new 20 Times Square Building, the project replaces the old Hershey’s property at 1593 Broadway.
The Grand Opening for the new Hershey’s Chocolate World was held on December 14. Schimenti Construction has earned a strong reputation in the retail construction industry and has developed a solid niche in urban construction, making it uniquely qualified to deliver projects in high-traffic areas like Times Square.
Along with the challenge of developing the ground floor of a building at one of the most high-profile locations in the world, Schimenti Construction expertly handled the customization required to help Hershey augment its signature brand elements
The interior of the space incorporates faux wood beams, developed with a foam product with a wood-grain finish, to create the feel of an old Hershey’s manufacturing facility while maintaining a lower cost than wood. Schimenti also worked with Hershey-specific brand icons such as Kisses and Reese’s logo floor tiles, automated dioramas, and a custom-built camper to facilitate HERSHEY’S s’mores experience.
The 7800 square foot space offers unique Hersey’s experiences such as HERSHEY'S Sweet Personalization, the Amazing Candy Machine, and HERSHEY'S KITCHENS Bakery.
GAP Inc. celebrated its biggest-ever grand opening with their new flagship GAP and Old Navy stores in Manhattan’s Times Square. Built simultaneously by Schimenti Construction, the two stores occupy 70,000 sf of high-profile space formerly filled by the five story Toys R Us flagship store.
The GAP Times Square is located at 1530 Broadway at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West Forty-Fourth Street, a spot visited by more than 50 million people each year.
“The success of the build-outs of Gap and Old Navy in Times Square was attributed to the energy and drive of how each project team member thought about, partnered, and strived to be better every day. For GAP, this is the difference between just another GC and a respected, strategic partner. We value your unique qualities that helped GAP achieve greatness.”
- GAP SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Key design elements include a structural steel and glass elevator in the two-level atrium, feature lighting including multi-colored programmable LEDs behind a blue polycarbonate curtain wall system, and a recessed linear LED fixture at the perimeter of each sales area. Also defining the sales areas are a newly designed wood millwork package featuring illuminated wall fixtures. The wood plank colored porcelain tile flooring brings both a natural look and high durability. GAP shoppers can relax while powering up at a “Chill & Charge” station. Behind the scenes, a rooftop package including cooling towers, fresh air units, and a self-contained boiler room keep the temperature comfortable for shoppers and workers.
Project managers Brian Tubman and Matthew Fiore along with project executive Jesse Bochichio oversaw the simultaneous interior fit-outs of the GAP and Old Navy Stores.Challenges included managing security and safety around the foot traffic in Times Square, constructing and maintaining a 60-foot tall temporary scaffold system that wrapped around the entire façade, and the logistics of installing six escalators and three elevators.
“The extremely crowded location, filled with tourists and passersby, created unique challenges, especially collaborating with the Times Square Alliance for exterior work and deliveries,” explained project manager Tubman. “On most sites, for instance, you don’t have to coordinate with the security staffs of ABC’s Good Morning America and MTV’s TRL!”
BEHIND THE EMPLOYEE
Senior General Accountant
Recently promoted to Senior General Accountant, Nadia Salgado has proven to be a real asset to the Schimenti Construction team since joining us in May 2012.
Nadia excels at looking at how work gets done and finding ways to improve the process. In August 2016, for example, she stepped in to perform the payroll function due to staff turnover. Nadia took it upon herself to streamline the process and seek added efficiencies. Additionally, she has worked closely with Project Executives and Business Development to enhance the use of our new CRM platform, Salesforce, and to incorporate a rolling 12-month revenue forecast. Most recently, Nadia took part in a combined effort to successfully integrate ExakTime, an application for remote timekeeping on job sites.
"Nadia comes to work each day with a professional demeanor and is an outstanding accounting team member,” says Chief Financial Officer Joseph Sparta. “She is always willing to pitch in and excels at process improvement."
Outside of Schimenti, Nadia stays busy by hiking with her rescue dog, traveling and keeping up with her two children, one in high school and one a college freshman.
Keep up the great work, Nadia!
Schimenti Construction participated in the Grand Opening ceremonies of the Landmark Theatres at VIA 57 West, a mixed-use building at West 57th Street near the West Side Highway.
The venue hosted a series of events leading up to the Sept. 14 Grand Opening which featured the premiere of “Mother” featuring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence. There was also an Open House for a public viewing of the space and a VIP event on the evening of Sept. 13. The venue is home to eight state-of-the-art theatres.
“It was extremely rewarding for our group to be part of this project with Landmark Theatres,” said Schimenti Project Executive Jeff Hogan. “We enjoyed attending the Grand Opening events and seeing the space come to life.”
The new theatres feature stadium seating, theatres ranging from 22 seats to 170 seats, a custom bar and concessions with bronze, etched brass and solid wood finishes. The theatres also feature laser projectors, leather electric recliner seats, and acoustical murals from Germany.
Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s Landmark Theatres is America's largest theatre circuit dedicated to independent film, foreign language cinema, restored classics and documentaries. Since its founding in 1974, Landmark has grown to 56 theatres, 269 screens in 27 markets. Landmark is known for both its award-winning historic theatres, such as the Tivoli in St. Louis and its more contemporary theatres, including the flagship theatre, The Landmark, in Los Angeles.
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