Solidarity Never: JDS, PMG look to build supertall tower sans union labor

"It would be unprecedented": Extell's Gary Barnett, on 111 West 57th St.
January 15, 2015 08:40AM

If it’s up to the developers, one of the city’s tallest towers could rise without the help of any union labor. The 1,400-foot-tall, 80-story tower proposed for 111 West 57th Street, developed by Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group and Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group would be the city’s tallest-ever tower built with nonunion labor.

An in-house construction crew poured the property’s foundation in September and by the summer, the developers plan to start raising the tower’s reinforced cast concrete frame, according to Crain’s.

“If they built that tower nonunion, it would be unprecedented,” Extell Development’s Gary Barnett, who is building nearby One57, told Crain’s. “I think if they built it successfully, more developers doing projects of that size would have to take a look at going nonunion.”

Of the seven supertall and skinny spires that are currently under construction, 111 West 57th is the only site that doesn’t use any union laborers.

“If Mike Stern wants to run his mouth, that’s fine, but I don’t know how it’s going to get built,” Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council, told the website “This is a needle in the haystack, an experiment more than anything else.” [Crain’s]Claire Moses