- Following similar moves by other large contractors, Boston-based contractor Suffolk is fortifying its presence in the New York City region with the recent hiring of former Lendlease executive Ralph Esposito as president of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
- During his 25-year career at Lendlease, Esposito headed up the construction business for the East Coast Region overseeing the firm's project management and construction operations in New York, New Jersey, Boston and Washington, D.C. He played a key role in the construction execution of the September 11 Memorial and Museum, expansion of the Columbia University Manhattanville Campus, design-build expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and construction of 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential project in the western hemisphere.
- Esposito will be responsible for leading Suffolk operations, driving regional business planning and development and recruiting talent in New England and New York, and expanding the company’s presence in new markets including New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., according to a statement.
Suffolk Chairman and CEO John Fish said that as part of Suffolk’s recently unveiled diversification strategy, the company will expand its core services in all the markets in which it operates, with a particular focus on the New York region. Some projects the firm has been involved in since entering the New York market five years ago include The Quay at Brooklyn Bridge Park, 14th @ Irving, Summit NYC at 222 East 44th Street, multiple projects for New York University, and Hudson Exchange West in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In addition, he said, in light of changing demand in response to the pandemic, the company is shifting its pursuit strategy to more heavily focus on “recession-resilient” sectors, such as life sciences, e-commerce, public agency and transportation.
Suffolk is bullish on the New York City market for many reasons, Fish said.
"We recognize that New York presents a unique opportunity to partner with forward-thinking institutions who see the big picture and are committed to thinking innovatively about the future of development," he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted the region, but it has also proven that New York and its industries are resilient, and we are looking forward to taking part in rebuilding the city."
Several other large contractors recently expanded or enhanced their presence in the Big Apple. Early this year, Reston, Virginia-based Bechtel — the country's largest engineering and construction company by revenue — opened an office in Manhattan to take advantage of the infrastructure project demand there. The company's previous New York City office closed in 2009.
Bechtel said the office will help it leverage its experience working with complex megaprojects. In a statement, Chairman and CEO Brendan Bechtel said the company is looking to partner with the city in its goal of "improving transportation, expanding digital technology and insuring access to safe, reliable infrastructure."
In October, AECOM announced the hiring of two infrastructure experts from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to help deliver major transportation infrastructure projects across the region. The two appointments follow the hirings this spring of two other transit-focused executives with deep experience in the region: Tom Prendergast, former chairman and CEO of the New York area Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Denise Berger, former chief of operations of the Engineering Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Also this fall, San Francisco-based Swinerton announced that it will open a New York City office next summer.
In addition, Australia-based developer and contractor Lendlease announced in October that it is building an 800-unit apartment development on the Brooklyn waterfront. The $718 million project is part of the company's plan to create mixed-use rental projects in several major U.S. cities including Boston and Chicago, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Lendlease believes in, and is committed to, long-term opportunities in New York and our other target U.S. gateway cities,” Lendlease Property Managing Director Jason Alderman said in a statement. “Everything that has always made New York a special place — its cultural activities, diversity, dining and entertainment, and most importantly the people who come to the city to make connections in their professional and personal lives — will endure beyond the current market challenges.”