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October 13, 2016

DDC Collects Four Awards Including “Owner of the Year” From Engineering News Record

Receives three awards for projects in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island 

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information

New York, NY—The New York City Department of Design and Construction today collected four awards from leading industry publication Engineering News Record for its work on public projects throughout New York City, including the prestigious “Owner of the Year” award for 2016. The honors were received at a ceremony at the Times Square Sheraton, where DDC led all groups in the number of awards received. 

ENR’s “Owner of the Year” award is given for overall commitment to excellence and innovative work throughout the region. The publication cited projects including the New York Police Academy in Queens and Times Square Pedestrian Plaza in Manhattan as examples of exemplary work by DDC, as well as the agency’s efforts to make New York City more accessible for people with disabilities. 

Individual DDC projects that received awards were the Public Safety Answering Center II in the Bronx, which received the “Award of Merit” in the category of Government/Public; Ocean Breeze Riding Arena in Staten Island, which received the award for best Small Project; and the West 215th Step Street in Manhattan, which was recognized as the best project in the category of Landscape/Urban Development.

“DDC continually innovates to deliver projects that catalyze growth and enhance and protect City neighborhoods,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “These awards represent the hard work of DDC staff as they push the standards for public capital projects, exceeding expectations as they help shape our built environment. Thanks to DDC staff for their efforts, to our client agencies for placing their trust in us, and to all the consultants and contractors who’ve worked with DDC to achieve these results.” 

People walk up a ramp alongside a white, boxy building.
Ocean Breeze Riding Facility in Staten Island, winner of the 2016 ENR award for Best Small Project

The 9,600 square-foot Ocean Breeze Riding Facility serves as the new headquarters for Helping Others Overcome Personal Handicaps (HOOPH), a therapeutic riding program that offers physical and occupational therapy to people age 3 to 21 who live with mental and physical disabilities. Situated on Father Capodanno Boulevard on Staten Island, next door to Ocean Breeze Indoor Athletic Facility, the building’s strategic location assists in the cultivation of a healthy lifestyle for all New Yorkers. The building was designed, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Recreation, to minimize damage to the wetlands section of Ocean Breeze Park and meet new FEMA elevation standards with the elevation of the structure.

Green, leafy plants protrude from a white grid mounted on a wood-paneled wall.
The living wall at PSACII, winner of ENR’s 2016 “Award of Merit” in the category of Government/Public

Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC2) in the Bronx is a $691 million highly secure facility designed to be a second emergency communications 911 call intake and dispatch center for the City, functioning as a parallel operation to the existing PSAC I in downtown Brooklyn and augmenting and providing redundancy to the current emergency 911 response service. The 500,000 square foot facility was designed in support of Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a more sustainable city, and is LEED Gold certified with a living wall, which houses plants for air filtration within the building lobby, and green roofs that collect stormwater for toilet use. 

A set of before and after images. The top shows the steps in disrepair. The bottom images shows them restored, good as new.
Before (top) and after (bottom): 215th Step Street in Inwood, winner of ENR’s 2016 Best Project award in the category of Landscape/Urban Development

The 215th Street Step Street in Inwood, originally built in 1915, is an integral part of the community connecting neighborhood residents to the subway and local businesses. DDC’s reconstruction of the Step Street added bike channels and repaired multiple years’ worth of cracked concrete. DDC also preserved two original cast-iron lamp posts, which were thoroughly restored after a rigorous review process in partnership with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in conditions comparable to their original installment in the early 20th century. The Step Street is accessible to all pedestrian traffic and expedites the journey between Park Terrace East and Broadway. 

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit