There's a fairly new player in Manhattan's evolving Far West Side construction story that snagged the attention of ENR regional editors this year. The editors had the task of considering the tristate’s major construction starts in 2013 and choosing an owner from the list.

Their choice is Brookfield Office Properties, which began construction in January 2013 of the 120,000-sq-ft deck that will form the surface of its $4.5-billion Manhattan West development on Ninth Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets and Dyer Avenue. This is the same region where work on major projects including the High Line and Hudson Yards is also under way.

The deck, set for completion later this year, will be a series of 16 bridges constructed using post-tension, pre-cast segmental bridge technology. The deck, located within the five-acre Manhattan West site, will cover Amtrak, N.J. Transit and Long Island Rail Road tracks that are 65 ft below grade and lead in and out of Penn Station. Turner Construction is managing the deck installation.

But for this annual contest, the editors must consider more than the fact that an owner has a big project on the list. They must take into account what, if anything, the owner is doing in terms of safety, workforce diversity and environment. They also look at the steps the owner is taking to reach out to the community.

Brookfield scored high marks among its peers in each of these areas. As far as managing safety, Brookfield provided a list of initiatives that includes engineering and training pre-construction on, for example, use of equipment, engineering of structures and work-platforms during the design phase. The firm says its goal is to hire 20% MWBE and that it has already awarded contracts to MWBE firms of major trades working on the platform. Its community outreach initiatives include establishing a hotline for the community to use to give and get feedback on the project, as well as weekly e-mails on upcoming activities.

ENR New York will provide more details on this firm and its major projects in our March 24/31 issue. That’s the same issue that will provide details on the region’s top-25 starts of 2013.

Until then, have a look at our Jan. 29 blog that provides a preliminary list of the top 25. And congratulations Brookfield.