New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYC DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley announced the appointment of Alison Landry of associate commissioner of alternative delivery Tuesday, Aug. 23. Landry is a licensed architect and an expert in methods of capital project delivery outside of the city’s traditional lowest bidder system.
Landry first joined DDC in early 2020 to lead its public buildings design-build pilot program. The role evolved with emergency response projects and eventually expanded to support the applications of design-build for infrastructure as well.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led DDC teams that employed other alternatively delivery approaches to build field hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn and three large COVID Centers of Excellence community clinics for New York City’s public hospital system. The field hospitals took 11 days to be created and the community clinics were valued at over $117 million.
A wide range of COVID-response facilities like community clinics and testing and vaccination sites were constructed by the DDC. They were made in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken under a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, which would’ve involved selecting and awarding contracts to firms with a demonstrated track record of delivering quality projects on time and on budget. The DDC accelerated project schedules while still delivering projects within budget, with fewer delays and an exceptional rate of participation from minority- and women-owned businesses.
“It is an honor to lead DDC’s alternative delivery team, collaborating with our agency’s talented staff, our sponsor agencies and world-class design and construction partners to adapt our approach to quality-based procurement and integrated project delivery,” Landry said. “The projects in our current design-build pilot program range from community-facing facilities to the vital infrastructure that keeps our city running. As we advance design and move into construction in coming months, these projects will serve our city with a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future and provide a wide array of case studies that allow us to continually assess and refine our work as we initiate additional projects and expand our program.”
The DDC hadn’t been able to use alternative contracting methods outside of the lowest-bidder approach until 2019. Other contracting methods like design-build were known to offer fast, efficient project delivery. Finally, in Dec. 2019, the New York State Legislature passed the New York City Public Works Investment Act (PWIA), which authorized the use of design-build for certain projects in the city. Landry has since assisted in leading DDC efforts establishing a design-build pilot program that currently encompasses seven public buildings and three infrastructure projects, with eight more projects in the pipeline.
“This new senior management position represents DDC’s commitment to quality-based contracting that provides taxpayers the best value for their money, not just the lowest bid,” Commissioner Foley said. “Landry’s enthusiasm and experience managing major city projects outside of the lowest bidder environment makes her ideally suited to lead our teams. Her work leading our design-build pilot program and overseeing important health-related construction using alternative delivery tools during the pandemic has been extraordinary.”
Prior to joining DDC, Landry was vice president at the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), overseeing the city’s first design-build streetscape in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation and the Hudson Square BID, as well as numerous CM-build projects such as resilient infrastructure upgrades at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and the renovation of historic buildings for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. As an associate at Handel Architects, Landry led the design team for the NYC Parks’ Idlewild Nature Center in the Jamaica Bay.
DDC acts as New York City’s primary capital construction manager. It aims to provide communities with new or renovated public buildings like firehouses, libraries, police precincts and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. DDC partners with other city agencies, architects and consultants to manage its $15.5 billion portfolio.