LaBella Associates has been awarded the Gold Award in the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) 2017 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition for the Midtown Redevelopment Project in Category H: Transportation.
On behalf of Brian Miller, PE, Director of Transportation, Patrick Waterman, PE (pictured right, with James McIntosh, PE from the City of Rochester) attended the 50th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala. The gala took place at the Hilton Midtown in New York City on April 1st, 2017. The event is co-sponsored by the ACEC New York Scholarship Fund, and in conjunction with the gala, the scholarship program will award more than $50,000 to New York State engineering students.
The Engineering Excellence Awards are presented to projects that encompass both the public and private sector in the following categories: studies, research, and consulting services; building/technology systems; structural systems; surveying and mapping technology; environmental; waste and storm water; water resources; transportation; energy; industrial and manufacturing processes and facilities; and special projects.
The Midtown Redevelopment project began in 2008. The site consisted of an enclosed retail mall and associated building comprising 1.4 million square feet on approximately 8.5 acres in downtown Rochester, New York. The City of Rochester and the State of New York selected LaBella Associates to lead the design for redevelopment of the 8.5-acre site. The work concerned the acquisition, remediation, and demolition of Midtown Plaza, and its subsequent redevelopment into a vibrant urban center.
To facilitate redevelopment of this key location, and to attract private investment, increase the tax base, support job growth, and catalyze downtown revitalization, the City and the Empire State Development Corporation joined together to provide shovel ready development parcels. The Midtown Redevelopment Project encompassed the abatement and remediation of hazardous materials, building demolition of the select existing Plaza buildings, establishment of an interior street grid, and the assembly/resubdivision of properties to attract private-sector developers. The planning and study process included market and other analysis necessary to develop a prudent plan that takes advantage of the many opportunities offered by the site. Sustainable design was a significant project consideration though planning, design and subsequent construction.
The Midtown Redevelopment project elements included: demolition of existing buildings and facilities, restoration of the existing parking garage, reconstruction of the underground truck tunnel service, development of a new internal street grid and a new pedestrian corridor, reconstruction of three adjacent streets, conversion of Broad Street from one to two-way, public and private utility relocation and site preparation, development of a centrally located open space for public use and assembly, preparation for adaptive reuse of remaining buildings, and the restoration of vacant parcels for future development opportunities.
Success of the project can be measured by the rate of private sector investment. Five of the seven parcels have been built-out with a mix of residential, office, and commercial projects as reconstruction of the infrastructure is complete. The rapid pace of private investment in addition to rising property values surrounding the Midtown site is a testament to the success of the project in providing a “liveable” downtown space.
Over 60 member firms submitted projects to the ACEC Engineering Excellence awards and were then judged on a rigorous set of criteria, which includes complexity, innovation and value to society. These projects were judged by a panel of industry experts, which included military and government officials, ACEC National and International leadership, educators from colleges’ and universities’ engineering departments, and leadership from other organizations dedicated to the built environment. In addition to celebrating among peers, the Engineering Excellence Awards helps help to publicize the many significant contributions consulting engineers make to the built environment throughout the world.