In spite of 2020 challenges that included shuttering non-essential construction sites, the construction sector in New York and New Jersey completed scores of noteworthy projects—a number of which achieved recognition as ENR New York 2021 Best Projects.

We saw breathtaking public spaces, important for housebound or commute-wary people to get fresh air, and health care facilities catering to patients with ailments including but not limited to COVID-19.

We also saw projects that spark hope for normalcy—or as close as possible to a pre-pandemic state—by creating spaces where students can learn, office workers can toil in more pleasant surroundings, culture enthusiasts can attend live events or enjoy historical structures, and places where sports fans can watch games under better cover. And we saw infrastructure projects that, as always, ensure the safety and well-being of communities—from improved seawalls to waterworks replacements to better bridges.

Readers will also see something new: the inaugural Excellence in Sustainability Award. Our judges selected the main winner and two awards of merit in the category, determining that they exemplified different aspects of sustainability: adaptive reuse, LEED certifications, or implementation of sustainable materials or systems.
ENR New York would like to thank this year’s panelists for assessing some 60 projects to select those for recognition.  The 2021 judges were:


  • Abby Ferri, senior risk control consultant, Gallagher
  • Bob Schimmenti, retired senior vice president of electric operations, ConEdison
  • Brian Neckermann, project manager, The Walsh Group
  • Edgar Westerhof, national director for flood risk and resilience and associate vice president, Arcadis
  • Heather McClimans, resident construction manager, Gannett Fleming
  • Illya Azaroff, founder, +Lab for Experimentation,  and associate professor, NYC College of Technology
  • Magued Iskander, civil and urban engineering department chair, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
  • Pasco Umbriac, vice president, Clark Construction Group
  • Ryan Johnson,  architect and computational design specialist, Clark Nexsen
  • Samantha Brummell, senior project engineer, Thornton Tomasetti, and member of the 2019 cohort of ENR New York’s Top Young Professionals
  • Stephen Mellett, president and owner, Vericon Construction Co., which was named ENR New York’s 2020 Contractor of the Year
  • Ted Holt, vice president, Gilbane Building Co.

Read on for details of the Project of the Year and the  array of Best Projects and award of merit winners.