Photo Courtesy of DBOX

Big Apple's Superslim, 1,396-Ft-Tall Supertower Tops Out

When complete, the topped-out 432 Park Avenue in New York City will be the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. At 96 stories, the $1.3-billion building, designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects with architect-of-record SLCE Architects and structural engineer WSP Cantor Seinuk, stands 146 ft taller than the 1,250-ft Empire State Building. Its rooftop exceeds the height of the flat roof of the 1,776-ft, spire-topped One World Trade Center by 28 ft. The project, managed by Lend Lease Corp., is on schedule to be completed in 2016. The tower will contain 104 residential units, ranging in size from 3,575 sq ft to 8,255 sq ft. The units are priced from $16,950,000 to $82,500,000, according to the developers, CIM Group and Macklowe Properties.

New York State Takes Lead in Development of NYC Airports

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Oct. 20 a global design competition within a month to re-imagine LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airport infrastructure. Options would include high-speed ferries to LaGuardia, improved AirTrain service at JFK and new retail amenities and hotel facilities. Cuomo's plan also calls for a cargo distribution hub at Stewart airport in the Hudson Valley and redevelopment of 100 acres at Republic Airport in Long Island. Both would function as tax-free "Start-Up NY Zones."

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which declined comment, has three prequalified teams pursuing a public-private partnership for a $3.5- billion redevelopment of LaGuardia's central terminal. "The integration of the P3 with the [design contest] will be an amazing challenge," says William Fife, former port authority aviation director. Cuomo's independent initiative underlines a struggle between the state and the Port Authority over New York's transportation infrastructure development.

AGC Survey Sees Growing Labor Shortage Problems

The construction craft shortage is worsening, says an Associated General Contractors survey of 1,000 construction firms released on Oct. 22. AGC says 83% of respondents report difficulties filling craft jobs, up from 74% a year ago. About 61% of firms also note challenges in filling professional slots, including project supervisors and engineers, up from 53% in the previous study. Respondents also are concerned about the quality of local construction training programs, particularly in the Southeast, where 86% report difficulties in finding qualified workers.

Dodge Momentum Index Falters

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 0.7% in September, its third consecutive monthly decline. Despite these setbacks, the index remains 8% higher than a year ago, due to a strong 13% gain during the first half of the year, says Dodge. The index measures nonresidential building projects entering the planning stage.