First Design-Build Teams Selected, Construction to Soon Begin on Borough-Based Jails Project

Construction on the Queens site parking lot began in June. Image Credit: DDC.

These teams will prepare the site for construction and enable court operations to continue for the duration of construction. On November 30, 2021, the Department of Design and Construction announced that four separate teams had been selected to receive design-build contracts to prep the sites of the new Borough-Based Jails. The Borough Based Jails project will build smaller jails in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn to allow for the eventual closure of Rikers Island to address crowding, safety and quality of life issues. The controversial project was approved in 2019. For CityLand’s previous coverage of the borough-based jails project, click here.

Through design-build contracts, one entity provides both design and construction services. The design-build system saves time and expense as the entity can collaborate as one to proceed with the project. The borough-based jails project was the first project that went through the ULURP process to use a design-build contract.

At the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens sites, the design-build teams will demolish existing facilities on the sites, and construct temporary “swing spaces” for the Department of Correction’s transfers for court appearances. The Bronx site is located on the former Lincoln Hospital site in Mott Haven; the design-build team will remove the foundation and other debris from the old hospital to prepare the site for future work. 

Four design-build teams have been selected, and an additional contract was issued for the Queens site to install a water main. The contracts are as follows:

– Brooklyn Dismantle/Swing Space: NorthStar Contracting Group Inc. for $59.7 million.

– Queens Dismantle/Swing Space: Hunter Roberts Construction Group, LLC for $43.1 million.

– Manhattan Dismantle/Swing Space: Gramercy Group Inc. for $125.2 million.

– Bronx Site Preparation: Yonkers Contracting Company Inc. for $76.7 million.

– Queens Water Main Installation: Triumph Construction Corporation for $6.4 million. 

The four contracts for the dismantling of structures and site preparation should be registered by the end of 2021 and work is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022. The Queens water main contract has already been registered and is expected to start next quarter and take 18 months to complete. 

Construction started earlier this year at the Queens site to build the parking garage and community space that was included in the project. For CityLand’’s prior coverage, click here.

The Department of Design and Construction previously engaged in the process to find the teams that will construct the new facilities after the current structures are dismantled and temporary spaces are constructed. Responses for that were due on November 29th, and the agency is in the process of evaluating the responses. 

In selecting all teams for the borough-based jails project, the Department of Design and Construction first required a submittal of a Statement of Qualifications. Vendors that were short-listed then submitted a response for a Request for Proposals. The agency is committed to using industry best practices and utilizes a best-value selection process to prioritize design, past performance, quality and qualifications. 

DDC Acting Commissioner Thomas Foley stated, “The Borough-Based Jails Program is fully funded and remains on-track to provide the facilities that will be needed to enable the closure of Rikers Island. The selection of these design-build teams was a rigorous process based not just on price but on experience, vision and the ability of the teams to deliver a quality project on time and on budget. We continue to seek highly qualified design-build teams to create the Program’s other facilities.”

Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Marcos Soler stated, “Today’s announcement continues to show the City’s ongoing commitment to the closure of Rikers, with the active dismantling of outdated and inhumane jails in New York City. This work prepares each of the four sites for the development of new borough-based facilities that will be fairer, modern, and safe, while maintaining the administration’s goal to safely and equitably reduce the city’s jail population.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


2 thoughts on “First Design-Build Teams Selected, Construction to Soon Begin on Borough-Based Jails Project

  1. Thank you for a detailed but concise article about a citywide borough based project of major importance to New York.

    I have found these articles informative and valuable.

    Margaret B.Perrin

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