Engineering Firm Nears Milestone at $1B NYC Office Tower

The temporary halt in development of Boston Properties' 1 million-square-foot office project at 250 W. 55th St. in Midtown Manhattan grows smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror as building activity moves closer toward completion, and Arup is the latest participant in the endeavor to achieve a major goal.

The temporary halt in development of Boston Properties’ 1 million-square-foot office project at 250 W. 55th St. in Midtown Manhattan grows smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror as building activity moves closer toward completion, and Arup is the latest participant in the endeavor to achieve a major goal. The engineering and consulting firm just reached substantial completion of the structure and envelope of the $1 billion building.

It was back in 2009 when Boston Properties suspended construction of 250 W. 55th, but since 2011, when law firm Morrison & Foerster L.L.P’s pre-lease of 180,000 kick-started the project again, work has been moving forward at a steady clip.

Arup, which is teamed with the architectural firm of Skidmore Owings and Merrill L.L.P. on the design of the LEED-certified tower, has been quite crafty in realizing its objectives. The firm’s design integrates a creative viscous damping system that allowed for the reduction of steel tonnage by 10 percent and provided unanticipated additional elbowroom in the 40-story high-rise. “The firm’s engineering innovations helped us save $5 million and gave us more usable space per floor,” Robert Schubert, senior vice president of construction at Boston Properties, said in a prepared statement.

Indeed, 250 W. 55th is well on its way to completion. In May 2012, general contractor Turner Construction Co. topped out the structure, which, before year’s end, became 46 percent pre-leased with the 20-year lease comment to 246,000 square feet by another law firm. The building is on track to open its doors in early 2014.