Alison Landry, a former associate at Handel Architects and previous vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), was appointed last week as Associate Commissioner of Alternative Delivery, a newly created position with the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) that will help the city further transition away from the lowest-bidder approach when securing contractors for DDC-led capital projects across the five boroughs. That method had been mandated by state law for more than a century up before it was finally lifted, enabling the city to explore faster and more efficient project delivery approaches.
In December 2019, the State legislature passed the New York City Public Works Investment Act, which authorized various City agencies to use design-build for certain projects. First coming on board at the DDC in early 2020, Landry has overseen seven public buildings and three infrastructure projects initiated as part of a DDC design-build pilot program with eight additional design-build projects in the pipeline. As noted by a press statement announcing Landry’s appointment, by the end of 2021 various city agencies had 44 design-build projects in the works valued at nearly $8 billion.
Notably, Landry oversaw the DDC’s pandemic-era efforts to erect temporary field hospitals in Brooklyn and Queens using alternative delivery approaches. The first of these sites was completed in just 11 days. “DDC built a range of emergency COVID-response facilities including community clinics, testing and vaccination sites and more in a fraction of the typical time using a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select and award contracts to firms with a demonstrated track record of delivering quality projects on time and on budget,” the department explained. “The agency was able to accelerate project schedules while still delivering projects within budget, with fewer delays and an exceptional rate of participation from minority- and women-owned businesses.”
“Alison Landry’s enthusiasm and experience managing major City projects outside of the lowest bidder environment makes her ideally suited to lead our teams,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Folley in a statement. “Her work leading our design-build pilot program and overseeing important health-related construction using alternative delivery tools during the pandemic has been extraordinary.”
A licensed architect and graduate of Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans, Landry, as mentioned, is a former associate at Handel Architects where she led the design team of the Idlewild Nature Center and has previously held positions at Architecture for Humanity, Project New Orleans, Manning Architects, and Alison Popper Design Studio. During her tenure as vice president at the EDC, she oversaw the city’s inaugural design-build streetscape in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation and the Hudson Square BID along with a number of construction management/build products including renovation efforts at historic buildings for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
“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,” said Landry in the announcement release. “The projects in our current design-build pilot program range from community-facing facilities, like recreation centers and public space improvements, to the vital infrastructure that keeps our City running, like maintenance and operations facilities and green infrastructure. 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.”