NATION’S LARGEST MODULAR HOTEL AT DEBUTS AHEAD OF GRAND OPENING IN NYC’S NEWEST BOOMING NEIGHBORHOOD

NATION’S LARGEST MODULAR HOTEL AT 189 BOWERY DEBUTS AHEAD OF GRAND OPENING IN NYC’S NEWEST BOOMING NEIGHBORHOOD

RINALDI citizen mWHAT: Topping Off ceremony for the new CitizenM hotel, now the tallest modular constructed hotel in the world

WHEN: 12:00 Noon Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017

WHERE: 189 Bowery, New York, NY

Contact: Matt Sheldon (917) 280-7329

New York (NY) – New York City and State officials will join members of the Rinaldi Group at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 2017, to celebrate completion of the new CitizenM Bowery – the nation’s largest modular-construction hotel project ever. There will be an official topping off ceremony to mark the finish of the last floors of the hotel.

The high-rise 300-room hotel was built through an extraordinary process. Sealed units containing fully-finished hotel rooms were factory-made and stacked together. The rooms were shipped in 210 pieces to New York. The Rinaldi Group is the project manager.

“We are extremely proud of the work we have done on the citizenM Hotel,” said Anthony Rinaldi, chief executive of the Rinaldi Group. “The building is state-of-the-art and will be the forerunner of similar types of structures in the future.”

The modular-construction process, popular in Europe and gaining in use throughout the United States, allows for faster building – generally about half the time as for traditional construction. The number of truck deliveries is also cut by about half as well, thus significantly lowering the impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

The new hotel is considered to be the “Crown Jewel” of the Lower East Side which is quickly becoming one of Manhattan’s most vibrant neighborhoods. With NYC predicted to see a record 61.8 Million tourists in 2017, it is expected that business travelers and tourists alike will come from all around the world to enjoy the many amenities of NYC’s newest and hippest hotel with its international vibe. CitizenM will offer an exterior and interior rooftop bar and lounge called CloudM with sweeping 360 degree views of the Manhattan skyline. There will also be a fitness center, a double-height lobby, lounge and café at the property.

The Real Deal – Stop, hammer time: Q&A with NYC construction boss Anthony Rinaldi

Rinaldi, 52, who founded the Rinaldi Group in 2003, is a proponent of open-shop construction — meaning a labor force that includes both union and nonunion workers.

From The Real Deal

Rinaldi talks baseball, union labor and what it’s like dealing with a death on a construction site

The world’s tallest modular hotel, according to its builder, is also the “worst nightmare” for union construction companies.

“Modular to the unions is hell on earth. It’s like their worst nightmare because everything’s being built in a factory faster, cheaper and without union labor,” said Anthony Rinaldi, head of his eponymous firm, the Rinaldi Group. “This project, CitizenM, is the epitome of everything they hate.”

Rinaldi, 52, who founded the Rinaldi Group in 2003, is a proponent of open-shop construction — meaning a labor force that includes both union and nonunion workers. Rinaldi recently became regional chairman of the open shop group, the Associated Builders and Contractors, which has been a vocal opponent of the construction safety bill passed by the City Council in September.

The 100-plus-person firm is working on a dozen projects in the city, including the CitizenM hotel, a 20-story modular hotel on the Lower East Side. The company, which is based in Secaucus, New Jersey and has offices in Manhattan, focuses on rental, condo and hotel projects in the city, New Jersey, Florida and Arizona.

Rinaldi graduated from Lehigh University in 1988 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked at several construction firms — including Cross Bay Contacting, HRH Construction and Crain Construction Company — before setting out on his own. He and his wife, Joan, have been married for 28 years, but they started dating when they were juniors in high school. They live in Secaucus with their daughter, Julia, who is in high school, and they have two older sons, Anthony and Frankie, who are both in college.

As part of a new questions-and-answers series with construction bosses in New York City, The Real Deal sat down with Rinaldi in his company’s New York office at 125 Maiden Lane. He answered the following in a New Jersey accent:

The bio on your website says your mom was an amateur bowling champion. Tell me more.

She was once recruited to go on a pro-bowlers tour. It was a lot of traveling, and one of those things, and my father wasn’t so hot on it. So, she didn’t do it. But she’s in the amateur bowlers women’s hall of fame. Believe it or not, they actually have something like that. She had state records forever, and certain county records that lasted for 23 years.

Your father was a police officer in Hoboken. What was it like growing up the son of a police officer?

He was probably one of the most brutally proud cops I’ve ever seen. He was militant. He was a proud American, he was a proud cop and he was disciplined. He was the kind of cop who wouldn’t even take Novocain for a cavity because it was a form of a drug. This was an influence because as a kid, you want to be like your dad. So, I finally get my first cavity, I’m going to do what my dad does, right? I’m not going to have any Novocain. I was on the ceiling. So, my entire life, I’ve only had two cavities. The second one, I took the Novocain.

What made you want to go into construction? Did you ever consider following in your father’s footsteps?

I really didn’t think about going into the police force. My father came from a different era, didn’t go to college but was very well-read and believed in education. When he took the police captain’s test, he actually placed first, and he beat out a lawyer. He was proud of that, being a layman. Growing up, I was very good in math and science. As I got older, the two professions that I was looking at was either engineering or accounting. And I certainly felt like I wasn’t built for accounting. I liked to be around action.

You played Division 1 baseball at Lehigh. Did you ever consider going pro?

I actually had three major league tryouts. I had a tryout with the [LA] Angels, the LA Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians. Long story short, I had tryouts but nothing panned out from that. I would’ve liked to try to pursue it. I don’t know how far I could’ve gone. But, with my dad passing while I was in college, I was an only child, my mom needed me, and I needed to get a job. My life’s plans got a little bit sidetracked.

One of the jobs you worked on at HRH Construction was the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, where Malcolm X was assassinated. As part of the public-private project, you preserved part of the theater and also constructed a new research center for Columbia University. What do you remember from that time?

When we were bidding the job, I walked onto the floor where he was killed. You could see the bullet holes in the podium. I actually said to one of the guys, “You listen to me. We get this job, the first thing we’re doing is we’re taking all of that, and the guy from the Economic Development Corporation was behind me and says, “You’re not touching any of that. This stuff is going to be artifacts.” I says, “I thought you guys were leaving this to be demolished.” He says, “No way, as the contractor, you’re going to be carving all of this out, and we’re going to be salvaging that.”

After HRH, you joined Crain Construction in Jersey City, but things ended acrimoniously with the owner. What happened?

Between 1996 and 2002, I worked my way up in the company from a vice president with a 20 percent stock to becoming actually president and 50 percent stock. Unfortunately, at that time, the original investor, who created this company, wants to take a different direction. Meanwhile, he had very little involvement with the company other than the financial side of it. We didn’t see eye-to-eye at that point. I tried to buy the company from him, but he wouldn’t sell it to me. So, I was left with a really difficult decision. What we wound up doing is, literally overnight, I closed the doors on a Friday night as Crain Construction, and Monday morning we opened up as the Rinaldi Group in 2003. Every single person who was in that company at the time came with me.

In 2015, the Department of Buildings briefly suspended your license following the death of Christian Ginesi, who fell 24 stories at your construction hotel site at 301 West 46th Street. What happened after your license was suspended?

Once we were able to sit down with the Building Department and show them the number of things that we were doing even prior to that incident, we were able to show them the facts of the case, you know, what really happened, which was human error. I was finally able to get my day in court. We ultimately were exonerated.

What was it like dealing with the perception that your company was unsafe?

I’ve been through a lot of difficult times in my life. Losing my dad, that was a difficult time. Trying to juggle a baseball scholarship with engineering at Lehigh, I thought that that was hard. I actually went to a fat farm for a month, and I thought that that was difficult. But going through that experience, and the rush to judgment, and then trying to get back what took a lifetime to build up, a reputation, was a difficult task. All too often what happens is an issue like that becomes a political football.

How did it impact your business?

It was a tough bell to un-ring. With the exception of one project at the time, we didn’t lose one project. Even with that one project, the only reason that that happened was it was with a client that we were doing three projects with at the same time. The lender got a little squeamish. They didn’t take all three projects from us, but the lender said in light of the fact that [the company’s] got a couple potential issues, let’s not put all of our apples in one bushel. That client, to their credit, stuck with us on the other projects, and we’ve done repeat work with them since. All of our clients stayed with us because they knew that we were the same company that we were before that incident.

Why have you and your family stayed in Secaucus?

My wife, she’s got two sisters, and all of them live in town. We still live blocks away from each other. They are, the three sisters, on the phone with each other every day at 10 o’clock in the morning. I’m like, I don’t get it, what could you possibly cover all these years, that you haven’t covered before? But they are a tight-knit family, and she did not want to relocate. I grew up in Secaucus, New Jersey. I’m going to live and die in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Read more from The Real Deal

Meet Anthony Rinaldi, the Contractor Building the World’s Tallest Modular Hotel

From the Commerical Observer:

BY REBECCA BAIRD-REMBA OCTOBER 18, 2017 10:00 AM

On a bitterly cold day in January, contractor Anthony Rinaldi helped organize a 500-strong rally against a City Council bill that mandated apprenticeship programs for construction workers on buildings of 10 stories or taller.

Anticipating a fight, he had hired eight armed guards to help protect the nonunion hardhats who were protesting next to City Hall. Across the street, hundreds of union construction workers were demonstrating in favor of the bill, known as Intro 1447.

“The next thing I know, the union was around the block, and they literally left their site, brought all their people and really came nose to nose with us,” he said, “and were trying to antagonize us into a riot.”

He had also given a heads up to the New York City Police Department, which dispatched a few dozen officers to quell the crowd. “It got so crazy that there were over 50 cops on the street,” he explained. “It got that dicey.”

The moment was a symbolic one for Rinaldi, who recently became chair of New York City leadership committee for the Associated Builders and Contractors, an open-shop construction trade association. It was one of his first major political fights with the group, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Even with fierce opposition from open-shop groups, the City Council passed the apprenticeship bill last month, and Mayor Bill Blasio signed it into law this week. The latest version requires construction workers to have 40 hours of safety training by September 2020.

Rinaldi’s 14-year-old construction management business, the Rinaldi Group, is open shop (meaning he can employ both union and nonunion workers) because more than 70 percent of the building permits issued in the private sector go to nonunion projects, he said. That tracks with data from the Real Estate Board of New York, which found that among residential projects with 100 or more units, only 14 percent were union sites, according to an analysis of New York City Department of Buildings permits conducted in 2015. Another open-shop group, New York Construction Alliance, told Commercial Observer in June that its seven member companies employ 75 to 80 percent nonunion workers.

It’s a little ironic that the 52-year-old Elizabeth, N.J. native spent months pushing back against the unions, after he cut his teeth working at big union construction companies in the 1980s and 1990s.

After he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Lehigh University—where he played Division 1 baseball—he landed his first job at HRH Construction, a subsidiary of Starrett Corporation. Starrett has built a host of well-known New York City projects, including the Empire State Building, Stuyvesant Town and Trump Tower. Rinaldi also spent several years as the chief operations officer of Crain Construction Company in Jersey City, N.J., and did a stint in the early 2000s at George A. Fuller Company, a 130-year-old, Valhalla, N.Y.-based building contractor.

Despite his rising star in the open-shop, or merit shop, world, “we have the ability to go union as well,” he explained. “I come from union backgrounds. My father-in-law was a Local 79 laborer. My father was a cop. If there was a project where the developer wanted to do the job union, under a project labor agreement we could do the project union. But when you’re union, you can’t go the other way.”

Besides his foray into industry politics, Rinaldi is working on several interesting construction projects. On Bowery between Spring and Delancey Streets, his firm is building the tallest modular hotel in the world for Dutch hotel developer Citizen M.

To build the 20-story, 300-room hotel, Polish modular manufacturer Polcom shipped 220 pre-assembled pods, complete with fixtures, plumbing and electricity, across the Atlantic Ocean. Now Rinaldi’s workers are stacking them on top of a concrete foundation, connecting the plumbing and electrical to the building’s mechanical systems, and fitting the facade pieces together.

Developers tend to assume that modular construction is cheaper, but the hard construction costs are typically the same, “dollar for dollar,” he noted. “Where it does get cheaper is in the timing.” While workers excavate and lay the foundation—a process that usually takes four to eight months—the modular units are being manufactured.

“So you’re actually able to make the rest of the building somewhere else and not having to wait for linear progression of the construction after you come out of the ground,” he said. “Those units are now there and you can stack them. It will take anywhere from four to six months off your schedule.”

Developers get to pay off their construction and property loans faster than they would be able to with a conventional construction project, and their building begins producing income sooner. There are also fewer months of disruptive construction for the neighborhood.

A little further uptown, Rinaldi is helping Empire Management redevelop a landmarked bank at 250 Fifth Avenue at the corner of West 28th Street. The bank is being expanded from eight to nine stories and converted to retail and office space. Then a 23-story, high-end Thompson Hotel will sprout behind it on West 28th Street.

He also recently topped out a 38-story hotel developed by the Lam Group at 215 Pearl Street in the Financial District. And over the past year and a half, Rinaldi Group has wrapped up construction on two major hotels, a 30-story, 150-key Hyatt House at 101 West 28th Street and the 31-story, 641-key Riu Hotel at 301 West 46th Street in Times Square.

Outside of the tristate area, he’s working on the redevelopment of the historic Collins Park Hotel in Miami Beach for Chetrit Group. Before that, his firm finished a 36-bed retirement home in Lake Worth, Fla.

The one black mark on Rinaldi’s long career as a construction manager happened at the Riu Hotel site two years ago. On May 5, 2015, a worker named Christian Ginesi and a colleague were installing elevator doorframes when the temporary hoist Ginesi was working on stalled between the 24th and 25th floors, the New York Daily News reported. The other construction worker was able to successfully jump to the 24th floor below. But Ginesi unclipped his harness, which was supposed to be attached to a steel beam or to a cable system at the top of the shaft but wasn’t, and then tried to jump down, Rinaldi said. The 25-year-old Jersey City resident ultimately slipped and fell down the shaft, dropping 26 stories to the basement. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he died an hour later.

Union officials slammed Rinaldi and the elevator subcontractor that employed Ginesi, G-Tech, for not offering the proper training.

“The young man had just got back from [serving five years with the Air Force in] Afghanistan, and he had no training whatsoever,” said Gary LaBarbera, the head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “They take advantage of unskilled workers, and that’s the kind of company Rinaldi Group is.”

Six months later, the DOB suspended Rinaldi’s contractor license, halting work on all 17 of his sites across the city. He claimed it happened without any prior notice.

A spokesman for the DOB stated that the agency “suspended Rinaldi’s license because he had 55 serious safety lapses at 8 sites over two years.”

Rinaldi argues that the city’s decision to pull his license was politically motivated. “The unions and self-interested bodies took advantage of it to try and smear me every which way they could,” he recounted. “I was being classified in the papers as a troubled contractor. The truth was that I had an impeccable safety record up until that time.”

A month later, the city’s Environmental Control Board, an administrative court that hears building violations, reversed the suspension and ruled that Ginesi’s death had occurred because of human error (unclipping his harness).

In spite of the scandal, Rinaldi is generally well liked in the construction industry.

Marshall Adams, a lawyer who represents Rinaldi in Florida and a close friend, called him a “warm, engaging, funny guy” and “the most brutally honest client I have.” The pair met six or seven years ago when Rinaldi brought him a case involving a subcontractor.

“I analyzed his case and said the subcontractor did all these bad things, but you’re going to have to make good on them,” Adams explained. “And he said, ‘I brought this guy to the table, I have to make good on all the things he did.’ It makes it easy to represent a client when they listen to you and are willing to do the right thing, [when] they’re not just trying to find a way out.”

Rinaldi has a wife, Joan, of 28 years, and three kids, 15-year-old Julia, 19-year-old Frankie and 22-year-old Anthony. The family often visits Adams and his children in South Florida over the holidays. “My kids love him, and they love his wife,” Adams said. “And we try to make it a point to see each other when I’m in New York.”

Danny Khazai, a stone importer who heads NYC Worldwide Marble, echoed those sentiments. He met Rinaldi in 2003 when they were both working on a Ritz Carlton in White Plains, N.Y. In a city full of shady contractors, Khazai described him as honest and reliable.

“He’s one of the only people who makes sure that the job gets done on time, and that all of the subcontractors get paid on every job,” Khazai said. “In our industry, what happens is, 90 percent of general contractors, they end up not paying you. That’s how this industry is.”

But Rinaldi still holds his subcontractors to high standards and pushes them to finish work on time. “When it comes down to business and his projects, you have to get done on time,” Khazai said. “If you’re behind, he’s hard on you.”

In many ways, it’s clear that Rinaldi was shaped by his father, who served on Hoboken’s police force for 33 years (and in classic Italian fashion, was also named Anthony Rinaldi). He retired in 1982 as the highest-ranking captain in the small city’s police department. Two years later, during Rinaldi’s freshman year at college, he died of colon cancer.

One of the contractor’s early memories involves his mother, who panicked after not being able to reach his father and drove into the middle of a race riot in Hoboken in 1970.

“They were still having some of the residual riots going on that were coming from Newark and Jersey City,” he remembered. “My mother was worried, couldn’t get him, so she puts me in the car—I had to be 4 or 5—and drives right into one of the riots. I saw my dad in riot gear, the helmet with the shield. And they were shooting at [the cops] from the rooftops. This was Hoboken. It was like crazy. My father actually saw my mother drive by. And my father went nuts; he was crazed. That’s how rough Hoboken got.”

Later that year, their family decamped to Secaucus, N.J., where Rinaldi has lived ever since.

Read more from the Commercial Observer…

Lehigh’s Improved Baseball Stadium Dedicated

Video from WFMZ:

 

From The Morning Call

AROUND THE VALLEY: Lehigh’s improved baseball stadium to be dedicated on Saturday morning

Anthony Rinaldi will always root for the Lehigh University baseball team.

Rinaldi, the son of a Hoboken, N.J., policeman, earned a scholarship to play baseball for Lehigh in the 1980s.

He was a four-year letterwinner and a two-time captain of the team then called the Engineers and helped Lehigh win an East Coast Conference regular-season championship in 1984.

Rinaldi graduated from Lehigh’s famed School of Engineering in 1988 and has gone on to found the Rinaldi Group, a commercial general contracting and construction management firm with corporate headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., and offices in downtown Manhattan as well as Boca Raton, Fla.

The Rinaldi Group has over 3,000 employees and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the country, a testament to what Rinaldi learned at Lehigh.

His son, also named Anthony, followed in his footsteps and attended Lehigh and also played baseball, something his father called “another dream come true.”

That’s why Rinaldi’s company made a $1 million donation to the school for improvements to its baseball complex.

But Rinaldi was not alone in his desire to want to do something special.

Several other benefactors, some of whom prefer to remain anonymous, also got involved and on Saturday morning the baseball program will have a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for J. David Walker Field at Legacy Park.

Along with a new name, the complex has seen improvements to both the functional use of the field and the aesthetics of the facility to improve the overall experience.

The latest improvements have been made possible due to the significant contributions of Dr. Neal and Dr. Jim Walker.

Neal is a Lehigh alum and both brothers grew up as childhood friends of Lehigh baseball coach Sean Leary. Their father, Dr. J. David Walker, was a highly respected engineering professor at Lehigh University.

After his passing, the Walkers felt compelled to recognize their father for his contributions to Lehigh.

“He taught us both an unending love of learning both in the classroom and in our sports endeavors,” the Walker brothers said in a release. “We felt that naming the field in his honor was the perfect reflection of his passion for teaching and enables others to do to what they love.”

The improvements included a new outfield fence, a new scoreboard and upgrades made to the batter’s eye in center field. The area surrounding J. David Walker Field has also been upgraded.

A donor recognition plaza and a covered pavilion for fans and alumni to gather has also been added to other recent improvements such as a new synthetic turf infield and larger dugouts.

Since the District 11 playoffs have also been held at Lehigh in recent years, the facility has become a prime venue in the local baseball community.

For the Walkers, Rinaldi and others, it is clearly a special place for people who care about the school, baseball and the power of a great education.

“The Walker family contribution was paramount to make these improvements happen,” Rinaldi said. “On top of that a few other families got involved and we’re just proud to be one of them.”

Rinaldi is looking forward to the ceremony on Saturday and expects a great turnout for what should be a day of appreciation.

“I have a lot of roots at Lehigh,” Rinaldi said. “Having the ability to give back to a school that has meant so much to me and my life, well, it’s another dream come.”

DOUG SNYDER HONORED

Allen boys basketball coach Doug Snyder has established himself as one of the best coaches in all of Lehigh Valley athletics.

But before he returned to coach at his high school alma mater, Snyder carved his niche as an outstanding coach at Princeton High School, in the shadows of Princeton University where he was a student and player for the legendary Pete Carril.

On Nov. 18 at the Mercer Oaks Country Club in West Windsor, N.J., Snyder will be inducted into the Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Snyder was the head coach at Princeton from 1986-97 and his teams captured three straight Central Jersey Group II championships from 1992-1994.

In addition to Snyder, those 1992-94 teams will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Those teams set school records for most wins in a single season and featured three of the school’s top 5 all-time leading scorers in Bram Reynolds, Rodney Derry and Kirk Webber.

Snyder’s successful ways have continued in Allentown. In 20 seasons, Snyder’s Canaries have gone 308-210 and have won three league and three District 11 championships.

If interested in attending the banquet, contact Bob James at (609) 921-0946.

WILL-WEBER SALUTED

Former Morning Call sports writer Mark Will-Weber will be inducted into the Moravian College Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 3 at Johnston Hall.

Will-Weber wrote for The Morning Call in the early 1980s before embarking on a highly successful career as head men’s women’s cross country coach at Moravian.

He was men’s coach from 1987 through 2005 and women’s coach from 1992 to 2005 and was also an assistant track & field coach.

Will-Weber led the women’s cross country program to 10 consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference Championships from 1993-2002 and his teams won three NCAA Division III Mideast Regional titles in 1993, 2000 and 2001 while competing nine straight years at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

In his time leading the men’s program, Will-Weber guided the Greyhounds to 46 wins in 70 dual meets and six straight MAC titles from 1993 through 1998. He also had 19 men earn NCAA Division III All-Mideast Region honors and four go on to compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Read more from The Morning Call

Video: Construction Leaders, Workers Call On City Council To Mandate Drug & Alcohol Testing

Video: Rinaldi Group President and Chair of the New York City Leadership Committee for Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter makes the case for mandatory drug testing on New York City construction sites.

Video: Rinaldi Group President and Chair of the New York City Leadership Committee for Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter makes the case for mandatory drug testing on New York City construction sites.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LEADERS & WORKERS CALL ON CITY COUNCIL TO INCREASE SAFETY BY MANDATING DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING FOR ALL NYC CONSTRUCTION SITES

Around One-Third of All Incidents on Construction Sites Nationwide are Related to Drug or Alcohol Use, According to Industry Study

Numerous City Agencies Already Requiring Drug Testing for Jobs That Are Much Less Dangerous than Construction

City’s Dept. of Education Already Requires Drug Testing for Construction Laborers and Project Managers on its Worksites

New York, NY—As the City Council continues discussing ways to increase construction safety, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter and dozens of construction workers today held a press conference on the steps of City Hall urging the Council to introduce and pass legislation mandating drug and alcohol testing on all New York City construction sites.

Around one-third of all incidents on construction sites nationwide are drug- or alcohol-related, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors 2017 Safety Performance Report. The ABC report also found that companies with a robust substance abuse program had a total recordable incident rate 36 percent lower than companies without a substance abuse program.

Today’s press conference highlighted that numerous City agencies already require drug testing – in many cases for jobs that are less dangerous than construction, which is widely acknowledged as one of the most dangerous lines of work. Along with jobs at the NYPD, FDNY and Dept. of Corrections, City agencies that mandate drug testing for at least some employees include:

– Dept. of Parks and Recreation: drug tests for urban park rangers
– Dept. of Sanitation: drug tests for employees using a commercial driver’s license
– Dept. of Education: drug tests for construction laborers and construction project managers who will be working on DOE sites
– Dept. of Buildings: drug tests for construction site inspectors

“It’s absurd that New York City doesn’t require drug and alcohol testing in one of our most dangerous industries, even as City workers are already drug tested for less dangerous jobs,” said Joshua Reap, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter. “This is a clear policy failure that can be easily fixed by the City Council, which has said it is committed to increasing construction safety. The data shows that when contractors implement drug and alcohol testing, their construction sites become safer. It’s a no-brainer – if the City Council really wants to take every step to keep workers safe, it should act now to mandate drug and alcohol testing on all construction sites.”

ABC emphasized that the proposed drug and alcohol testing policy can and should be conducted by an independent third-party – not law enforcement – just as other screening programs currently use. The goal of this policy would be to increase safety for all workers by ensuring that no one is intoxicated on a worksite – not to target workers with criminal penalties or turn them over to law enforcement.

“This is not about blaming or targeting workers – this is about keeping all workers safer by doing everything we can to ensure that no one is under the influence on a dangerous construction site,” Reap added. “If your friend or family were a construction worker, wouldn’t you want their worksite to be free of drugs and alcohol?”

ABC also highlighted that the City Council has ignored the issue of drug and alcohol testing in one of its current construction safety proposals, known as Intro. 1447. ABC Empire State Chapter and many other industry stakeholders have strongly opposed Intro. 1447 because it will not fully address the need to increase safety, and it will also have deeply negative impacts on local hiring efforts and MWBE participation in the construction industry.

ABC Empire State Chapter has previously urged the City Council to include a drug and alcohol testing policy in Intro. 1447 but the Council has thus far failed to take that step.

Audio: Anthony Rinaldi Talks New York Construction on WFAN

Rinaldi Group founder and president Anthony Rinaldi on WFAN, discusses safety issues for construction workers and pedestrians, modular building trends, and challenges faced by small business owners.

Rinaldi Group founder and president Anthony Rinaldi on WFAN, discusses safety issues for construction workers and pedestrians, modular building trends, and challenges faced by small business owners.

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6SqFt: Rinaldi Group: NYC’s biggest modular hotel project is 55 percent complete

Rinaldi Group. The technology saves time, improves quality control and reduces construction nuisances like traffic snarls and general disruption.

For more information on the CitizenM Project at 189 Bowery, check Rinaldi Group’s project page

From 6SqFt:

The 20-story, 300-room project at 185 Bowery was constructed in Poland and shipped to New York in 210 pieces. Owned by Dutch hotel developer/operator Citizen M with Brack Capital Real Estate, the high-rise hotel at 185 Bowery is more than half done, reports the Wall Street Journal. It will be the largest permanent modular hotel project ever in NYC. Modular construction is more common in Europe; the developer already has nine hotels up and running and 14 in the works. They’ve used the technique of stacking sealed, factory-made units containing finished hotel rooms on the majority of those projects.

The technique allows for faster construction according to industry execs, meaning small, affordable-boutique hotels can be ready for check in earlier. Though it’s not necessarily cheaper, the technology saves time, improves quality control and reduces construction nuisances like traffic snarls and general disruption in the neighborhood (In the case of 185 Bowery the sight of the first module being hoisted into place via crane caused quite a disruption in the Lower East Side neighborhood, though, as dozens of phone cameras and a drone documented the event, according to Bowery Boogie).

The hotels’ compact rooms and standard designs lend themselves to the modular approach. CitizenM has tasked Polish company Polcom Modular with building the units for the Bowery hotel.

The Pod Brooklyn hotel across the East River in Williamsburg is also getting modular units from Polcom Modular. Developers of the $110 million, 249-room project said modular construction was about 15 percent cheaper than the on-site construction generally in use.

The Bowery project, which began in late November and is expected to take from three to four months to complete (about half the time traditional construction would have required), combines both traditional and modular construction techniques; according to Gary LaBarbera, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, the technology is suited for affordable housing developments and smaller hotels, and can increase the use of local union labor for both: The unions have an agreement with Brooklyn-based Full Stack Modular, who purchased the assets of the modular manufacturing company formerly owned by developer Forest City Ratner Cos.

Jack Dooley, chief executive of SkyStone Group LLC, which is overseeing Polcom’s U.S. modular construction, said, “There are modular manufacturers in the states that are catching up. I think you will see expansion as more and more projects are completed and concepts are proven.” Just make sure your hotel pod is actually finished before you check i

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For more information on the CitizenM Project at 189 Bowery, check Rinaldi Group’s project page

CurbedNY: Rinaldi Group – CitizenM’s Modular Hotel is Now Under Construction

“That is the beauty of modular construction,” the chief executive of Rinaldi Group, the project’s construction manager, told the Journal. “It really minimizes disruption to the neighborhood, to the community, to the traffic flow.”

– Anthony T. Rinaldi, President and CEO of Rinaldi Group LLC

From CurbedNY:

A curious concrete finger has, for months, poked up near the intersection of Bowery and Delancey. It isn’t a construction project gone bust—the structure is just the elevator shaft for the citizenM hotel coming to the site at 185 Bowery. The peculiar construction timeline—elevator first—owes to the building’s unusual status as a modular building. But as a Wall Street Journal piece points out, the installation of the 210 pods that will make up the hotel is on, and is expected to wrap up in the next few months.

CitizenM chose Polish company Polcom Modular to manufacture the units, which are being trucked in finished and stacked on-site. When its complete around February or March, the hotel will stand 20 stories tall and hold 300 compact rooms, making it the largest modular construction hotel project in New York City.

Modular construction isn’t seen all that often here, but it has its advantages. It allows for a certain quality control—think of it as the Big Mac of hotel rooms—while also speeding up construction versus traditional methods by two to five months. It will also reduce the number of truck trips to the site versus traditional building methods by 1,200. (This, of course, does not account for the extra heft of shipping the pods from Poland as opposed to fabricating them in New York—something the developers said they wouldn’t be opposed to in the future.)

“That is the beauty of modular construction,” the chief executive of Rinaldi Group, the project’s construction manager, told the Journal. “It really minimizes disruption to the neighborhood, to the community, to the traffic flow.”

CitizenM is co-developing the site with Brack Capital, who scooped up the four adjacent properties that comprise the site prior to 2008. CitizenM Bowery is slated to open its doors in mid-2017.

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For more information on the CitizenM Project at 189 Bowery, check Rinaldi Group’s project page