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2002 Top Projects

Ritz Carlton Hotel & Residences, Battery Park

Cost: $115 Million

Development Team

Owner: Battery Park City Authority, NYC
Developer: Millennium Partners, NYC
Hotel Operator: Ritz Carlton, Atlanta, Ga.
Construction Manager: Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc., NYC
Architect: Gary Edward Handel + Associates, NYC
Architect: The Polshek Partnership, NYC
Interior Architect (hotel): Frank Nicholason Inc., Acton, Mass.
MEP Engineer: I.M. Robbins, NYC
Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers, NYC
Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services Inc., NYC
Material Façade Consultant: Ava Shypula Consulting, Springfield, N.J.
Exterior Stone Contractor: Liberty Marble Inc., NYC
Concrete Contractor: Laquila Construction/Pinnacle Concrete Corp., a joint venture, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Foundation Contractor: Laquila Construction Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hoist Contractor: Universal Builders Supply, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Millwork Contractor: Petersen Geller Spurge Inc, Hudson, N.Y.
HVAC Contractor: Fresh Meadows Mechanical Corp., Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
Electrical Contractor: High Rise Electric Inc., Long Island City, N.Y.
Plumbing Contractor: Par Plumbing Co. Inc., Lynbrook, N.Y.
Carpenter: R&J Construction, Long Beach, N.Y.

The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences at Battery Park City was scheduled to open in September 2001, but the attacks on the World Trade Center, a few blocks to its north, delayed its completion.

The 40-story, 575,000-sq.-ft. combination hotel and luxury residential tower finally opened in early 2002.

The Ritz Carlton hotel makes up the base of the building. At the 13th floor there is a landscaped deck that marks the transition between the hotel and the residential tower, which contains 140 condominium apartments.

The architects, Gary Edward Handel + Associates and the Polishek Partnership, took full advantage of its location. Situated at the southern-most tip of Manhattan, the façade facing the city is made of iron-spot brick that ties it aesthetically to the rest of Battery Park City and to the tradition of the great masonry buildings in Manhattan overall.

At the same time, the south and west sides of the building, facing the harbor and river, have a glass curtain wall that provides spectacular views.
The building's proximity to the water also brought spectacular construction challenges. It is 150 ft. from the shore of the river, and 15 ft. from the water below. Like the rest of Battery Park City, it is built on landfill from the construction of the old World Trade Center.

The site had to be sheeted to keep the water out. Cantilevered soldier piles were used so that the bracing wouldn't interfere with the construction of the foundation. A series of 26-ft.-long plastic well points, spaced 4 ft. on center, were placed around the site.
The foundation required 80 tie-downs and 650 piles, each with a capacity of 200 tons. In building the foundation, consideration had to be given to the fact that the basements would be12 ft. below the water. To keep them waterproofed, a membrane was built around the periphery of the building to create a "bathtub."

"It is one of the deepest excavations in New York City," said Steve Bongiorno, project manager for DeSimone Consulting Engineers, structural engineer for the building. "We are essentially holding back the river in terms of hydrostatic forces using a 2-ft.-thick pressure concrete slab that resists the uplift forces from the river below. For supplemental resistance for the uplift, we used rock anchors."
The other construction challenge was also related to the building's location - strong winds often come whipping around tip of the island.

"Battery Park City is a difficult place to work, especially in the dead of winter," said Joe Mitrione, president of Pinnacle Concrete Corp., which formed a joint venture with Laquila Construction Inc. to do the concrete work on the superstructure.

"We topped out in the winter with heavy winds. It required increased safety measures and extra care in placing decks and pouring operations to account for the wind. The winds were so bad on one day that we had to shut down."

Wind or no wind, the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences in Battery Park City is now open and thriving, a part of downtown Manhattan's recovery.


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