September 29, 2009 / 10:33 PM / in 9 years

Related Cos restarts west side Manhattan project

NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Property developer Related Cos said on Tuesday it had restarted work on a 1.2 million-square-foot development in midtown Manhattan that had been stalled by the economic downturn.

The block-sized project on 440 West 42nd St. between 10th and Dyer avenues, will comprise 163 units of affordable housing, market-rate rental units, for-sale residences, a hotel, non-profit theaters and retail spaces.

Related said it had worked with unions, contractors, trades, architects and engineers to reduce costs. The project will create more than 700 construction jobs, the company said.

The New York State Housing Finance Agency and a lending consortium are providing the financing.

“This development was unique in that the foundation work had been completed and the financing was in place, but it offers valuable lessons that can be applied to future projects on how we can reduce the price of construction here in New York,” Bruce Beal Jr., executive vice president of Related Cos, said in a statement.

Cost savings were achieved through a combination of efforts including a project labor agreement and by a thorough review of every aspect of the job including redesign and re-engineering of the development, the company said.

Weak demand and tight financing have stalled several New York projects, such as Boston Properties Inc’s (BXP.N) planned 1-million-square foot skyscraper on West 55th Street. (Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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