One57, the first of the glassy giants to rise on 57th Street, wasn’t Lendlease’s key to Billionaire’s Row — it was a 60-story residential project on West 42nd Street.
Roughly a decade ago, Extell Development tapped the Australian construction company to build the Orion, a 551-unit condominium building. That gig led to additional jobs for Gary Barnett as he grew his luxury empire. And in a matter of a few years, Lendlease became one of the go-to contractors for high-end condo construction in New York City.
“That good work paid off when those developers acquired trophy sites overlooking the park,” said Ralph Esposito, who heads Lendlease’s construction operations on the East Coast.
The contractor has completed construction on most of Billionaires’ Row, including Harry Macklowe and CIM Group’s 432 Park Avenue, World Wide Group and Rose Associates’ 252 East 57th Street, Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South and Hines’ 53 West 53rd Street.
Other general contractors have carved out their own niches in New York’s sprawling real estate industry. AECOM Tishman, for instance, has dominated office development over the past five years, while Omnibuild and Flintlock Construction have been the city’s most prolific hotel builders.
This month, as construction firms ride out the wave of the last development boom, The Real Deal reviewed hundreds of permit applications filed with the city’s Department of Buildings to determine which companies lined up the most new work across the five boroughs in the past 12 months. The results are an update of TRD’s ranking last year, which reflected a five-year look back at the top contractors for new buildings and renovations.
AECOM Tishman topped the list of the 20 most active companies doing ground-up construction with 2 million square feet of new permits issued between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. New Line Structures & Development took the No. 2 spot with 1.9 million, and Gilbane Building Company followed in third place with 1.5 million. Structure Tone and Omnibuild rounded out the top five with 1.3 million square feet and 1.2 million, respectively.
When it came to alteration and renovation work, some of the same firms dominated our ranking. JT Magen & Company took first place with $741.8 million worth of work, followed by Structure Tone with $607.5 million and Turner Construction with $464 million. AECOM Tishman and Benchmark Builders took the No. 4 and No. 5 spots with $232.7 and $183.6 million, respectively.
And collectively, the top 20 ground-up builders received new permits for 16.3 million square feet of work in the past year, while the top 20 firms doing interior work filed plans for $3.75 billion worth of projects.