New York Real Estate Journal

El-Ad Properties’ $450 million Plaza project receives ACEC 2010 Platinum Engineering Award

May 5, 2010

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After being named Renovation Project of the Year by New York Construction magazine and receiving a Citation of Excellence from Buildings magazine, the $450 million restoration and renovation of The Plaza, located at One Central Park South, is now being honored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York with a 2010 Platinum Engineering Excellence Award in the category of Structural Systems. The Plaza is owned by El-Ad Properties.

“The Plaza is an elite landmark that defines what is enduring and best in this great city, setting new standards of quality, luxury and sophistication,” Miki Naftali, president and CEO of El-Ad Group. “We discretely but totally overhauled the infrastructure, introducing state of the art systems and technology to assure residents, visitors and guests the highest level of comfort and convenience. We applaud WSP Cantor Seinuk Structural Engineers for their important contributions, and are delighted by the continuing recognition of the extraordinary restoration of The Plaza.”

In addition to the complete update to the building’s systems and the creation of new features like the multi-level retail, beauty and wellness collection, the design, construction and engineering team worked with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on the restoration of The Plaza’s landmark spaces – The Palm Court, The Oak Bar and Oak Room, The Terrace Room, The Grand Ballroom and The Edwardian Room. This included the recreation of the original leaded stained-glass ceiling of the Palm Court. That element disappeared in the late 1940s. Now, a new 1,200 s/f stained glass “laylight” has been painstakingly designed, assembled and installed to match the original.

“Ironically, it was re-engineering that led to the loss of the laylight which was removed at the time to install a ‘new’ luxury feature called air conditioning,” said Yoel Shargian, COO of El-Ad Properties. “We worked tirelessly to balance preservation with technological and system upgrades to recapture the 1907 grandeur while delivering 21st century comfort, convenience and service.”

The industry experts who comprised the selection jury for this award were Mark Breslin, vice chairman, AGC NYC LLC and VP of Turner Construction; Leo Chao, P.E., regional supervisor in design & construction, N.Y.C. Office of General Services; Larry Chiarelli, P.E., Esq., professor at Polytechnic Institute of NYU; Satoshi Oishi, P.E., consulting engineer; and Denise Richardson, managing director for the General Contractors Association NY, Inc.

Along with WSP Cantor Seinuk Structural Engineers, The Plaza design team included Gal Nauer Architects, Costas Kondylis and Partners LLP, Walter B. Melvin Architects, LLC and Rani Ziss Architects. Construction manager was Tishman Construction.