Building a tower in downtown Manhattan is not for the faint of heart. Throw in an active railroad track, and a global pandemic, and one would need nerves of steel and a ‘get-it-done’ attitude! On February 12, 2022, Walters Group celebrated that winning attitude by witnessing the final beam raising on the 58th floor at Two Manhattan West (Southeast Tower).
Since January 2013, Walters has worked closely with Brookfield Properties and its partners to construct the Manhattan West ‘superblock’. Located in the Hudson Yards District, this 7-million-square-foot, mixed-use development property stretches from 9th Avenue to 10th Avenue and from 31st to 33rd Streets. The scope spans 8-acres and features four office towers, one boutique hotel, one residential building, 225,000 square feet of retail space, and a 2.5-acre public plaza.
Courtesy of Brookfield
Our journey started early, producing a temporary steel and timber platform to support the first phase. This platform consisted of building a segmental bridge comprising of short sections, pre-casted, post-tensioned, and a long-span box girder deck covering 14 active railroad tracks leading in and out of New York’s Penn Station. Next, our Metropolitan Walters team installed a specialized launching gantry with a hauler/straddle carrier. The gantry lifted and supported 16 precast segmental concrete box girder bridges, weighing over 2,100 tons. This installation created a 120,000-square-foot platform, the length of two football fields, setting the table for the Manhattan West development.
Courtesy of Brookfield
We then turned our attention to the buildings that would occupy the newfound land—the first being the Southwest Tower, more commonly known as The Eugene. Rising 64 floors (700 feet) with 844 units, The Eugene required 600 tons of structural steel, which Walters Group supplied and installed. Some of that steel was distributed among the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors, providing space for a regulation-sized basketball court, climbing wall, and other lifestyle amenities. The remainder spanned 65 feet over Dyer Avenue, supported between 12-foot-deep trusses and post-fixed wall plates, providing a tree-lined path from the 9th Avenue overbuild to 5 Manhattan West.
Next up, One and Two Manhattan West, Brookfield Properties steel superstructure towers. One Manhattan West is a 71-storey tower utilized for office, residential, and retail use. Made up of 18,500 tons of steel, the Northeast Tower extends 67 floors (996 feet) in the air and boasts one of New York’s most slender buildings. A 6,000-ton ‘pedestal’ acrobatically supports the tower above and hosts the world’s first self-climbing cocoon (aka Kokoon®) designed by Despe S.p.A, utilized during construction. The significant safety innovation of the cocoon provided unparalleled protection to the ironworkers responsible for erecting New York’s most remarkable monuments and the passing public. Engineering News-Record ranked the Despe Cocoon design as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers in 2017, a testament to its positive impact on safety.
Courtesy of Despe
Last and by no means least is Two Manhattan West. Shorter than One Manhattan West by 93 feet, the Southeast Tower is almost three times heavier, with a steel core instead of a concrete core. Supported by our partners Recal Industrial de México, Walters Group supplied and installed this tower amid the pandemic and once again the self-climbing cocoon was deployed.
“What a journey it was to get to this moment, and we are so thankful for the support of all parties involved (you know who you are!), said Sam Barrett Vice-President, Preconstruction, Walters Group. “We could not have done it without you! Raising the final beam signifies the end of a successful project, and after raising a glass, we look forward to lifting the next beam with you all!”
Although most of the work is complete on the Manhattan West site, design meetings are still underway as Metropolitan Walters is currently working on a mass timber bridge connecting the newly established development to The High Line, a public park built on the historic freight rail line elevated above Manhattan’s West Side streets.
Photo Top Left to Right: Dylan Behlen (Metropolitan Walters), Darren Colgan (Recal), Juan Estevez (Tishman), Alex Pasacrita (Metropolitan Walters), Sam Barrett (Walters Inc). Bottom Left to Right: Henry Caso (Brookfield Properties), David Pisacrita (Metropolitan Walters)
Special thanks to our valued partners.
9th Avenue Overbuild; Rizzani DeEcher, Entuitive Consulting
SW Tower (The Eugene); Hunter Roberts Construction Group, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, SLCE Architecture
Dyer Avenue Overbuild Phase 1, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Dyer Avenue Overbuild Phase 2; Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
NE Tower (One Manhattan West); Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
SE Tower (Two Manhattan West); Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
For more information, check out our recent projects https://www.waltersgroupinc.com/projects/
Editorial piece originally published by Sam Barrett on LinkedIn.