New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously against granting historic protection for an old factory building, designed in the Italian Renaissance palazzo-style, located two blocks from Manhattan’s the World Trade Center (WTC) reconstruction site. The vote clears the way for development of an Islamic center on the site of the buildings. A Muslim group called Cordoba Initiative has named SoHo Properties to develop the $100-million Islamic center, which would contain a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium and a swimming pool. The project is controversial because of the site’s proximity to Ground Zero, where on Sept. 11, 2001, Arab terrorists crashed
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.