The project team constructing TSX Broadway—a 550,000-sq-ft hotel, theater, dining and retail tower in Manhattan’s Times Square—has no shortage of choices in identifying the $2.6-billion megaproject’s biggest challenge.
Lifting the 109-year-old, 1,657-seat Palace Theater from its ground floor base to a new perch 31 ft higher is a strong contender. Carving out two basement levels under an already existing structure at one of the busiest corners in the world also ranks pretty high. But erecting a massive post-tensioned concrete truss box across four floors also has to rate, and demolishing most of an existing 45-story building to erect a mostly new 46-story tower in its place is certainly worthy of consideration.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment will be executing many of those tasks simultaneously or sequenced tightly, says Eric McGovern, president and CEO of Pavarini McGovern, construction manager for the developer team of L&L Holding Co., Maefield Development and Fortress Investment Group.
“It was hours and hours and nights and days of just intense coordination between a large design team and the construction team and all the consultants,” he says.
The 580-ft-tall tower, set to finish early next year, isn’t following the urban redevelopment playbook of demolition, foundations and then erection, says Robert Israel, L&L executive vice president. While initial demolition work started in 2018 and the new building topped off last month, use of a zoning exemption that requires keeping 25% of the old structure has led to tasks such as foundation work taking place later in the schedule.
“We still to this day are doing demolition work on this project, and we’re topped off,” he says. “That’s highly irregular.”
TSX also features a carefully tailored design, says Cawsie Jijina, principal at Severud Associates Consulting Engineers, the project’s structural engineer, which worked alongside Mancini Duffy as architect of record, Perkins Eastman as building envelope designer and PBDW on theater design. Other team members include Sorbara Construction, Urban Engineering, McLaren Engineering Group, post-tensioning consultant VSL and Langan Engineering.
“This is a highly complex project,” Jijina says. “Just following the load paths from roof to foundation is a feat.”