The Real Deal New York

Tishman Speyer will use some nonunion labor at its Hudson Yards project

However, union labor accounts for 95% of awards contracts so far at the Spiral
January 28, 2019 03:15PM

From left: A rendering of The Spiral at 66 Hudson Blvd, Gary LaBarbera, and Rob Speyer (Credit: Tishman Speyer and Rob Speyer)

Like its developer rival the Related Companies, Tishman Speyer won’t be going entirely union for its ambitious Hudson Yards development.

With bidding for the Spiral office tower about 75 percent complete, union labor accounts for 95 percent of awarded contracts by value, Politico reported. One of the nonunion contracts is with Top Shelf Electric.

The news comes as Related scraps with the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York over its plans to use nonunion labor at 50 Hudson Yards and the western portion of the project. Pro-union campaign #CountMeIn has been holding weekly rallies outside the site to pressure Related into exclusively using union labor. A spokesperson for the campaign didn’t say whether the protesters plan to target the Tishman Speyer project.

Real estate industry players have argued that a lower share of union workers on construction projects has been driven by inflated labor costs. Unions have dominated commercial construction, but lack of precise data makes it difficult to identify a trend, the report said.

“Tishman Speyer is relying heavily upon the expertise and quality of union labor to build The Spiral,” a Tishman Speyer spokesperson told Politico. “We have established an open line of communication with Gary LaBarbera and enjoy a very productive relationship with the Building and Construction Trades Council.”

Tishman Speyer’s project is attracting interest from large corporations. Last year, pharmaceutical company Pfizer inked a 20-year-lease for 800,000 square feet at the Spiral. It will occupy floors 7 through 21 in the 2.8-million-square-foot tower. And financial giant AllianceBernstein is considering leasing space there as well. [Politico] — Meenal Vamburkar