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As renovations go, this one is particularly challenging


The multi-million dollar redevelopment of one of Times Square’s most iconic buildings — the former home of the Toys “R” Us flagship and future home of Gap and Old Navy flagships — is well underway.

Richter + Ratner is serving as construction manager for the extremely complex core-and-shell renovation and structural redevelopment of the Bow Tie Building in Times Square. In 2001, the company performed in the same capacity for Toys “Us,” which occupied the building from 2001 until it closed this past December.

The renovation of the 160,000-sq.-ft. structure began in February 2016 and will continue through early 2017, according to R+R CEO and president Marc Heiman. It will create 25,000 sq. ft. of additional floor space for new retail tenants by infilling the atrium space of the former Toys ‘R’ Us flagship store.

The new anchor tenants, Gap and Old Navy, will each occupy 31,000 sq. ft. Both brands will build interiors of their stores once the structural redevelopment by R+R is completed. Additional retail tenants will occupy the remainder of the building.

“This is an extraordinarily complex project due to the extremely busy location, the structural-steel frame revisions, the coordination with multiple city agencies, the very restrictive site access, and the elaborate safety precautions needed due to heavy Times Square traffic,” said R+R project superintendent Eric Weissman, LEED AP. “Further, large equipment is brought into the site only at night, as cranes cannot operate during the day and are removed from the area upon completion of each night’s work. To meet the aggressive schedule, work time for selected critical construction activities was extended into overtime and Saturdays. To ensure the utmost in safety procedures, a full-time resident safety manager was assigned to the site.”

To protect pedestrians, the team erected a plywood fence equal to the full height of the 53-ft.-high building, which also helped with the safe removal of the glass curtain wall. On 44th and 45th Streets, bridges protect pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

The protection on the corner of Seventh and 45th was most challenging because the 25' fall zone juts into Seventh Avenue car traffic, so a barricade could not be built there. Instead, the team erected a bridge for protection.

The three-story structure, built in 1936 and located at 1514 Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets, is named for the shape of Times Square made by the crossing of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Family real estate company Bow Tie Partners has owned the building since 1977.

The project’s architect is Carlton Architecture, the MEP engineer is Jack Green Associates, and the structural engineer is GMS Engineering.
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