When you’re the construction team building the 26-story, 296-room Hotel Indigo in the narrow streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, hospitality is the name of the game—in more ways than one.

For this Brack Capital Real Estate and InterContinental Hotels Group project, it’s been a case of being a good neighbor as well as going all out for the boutique hotel’s construction. Now in the home stretch, the locally-inspired hospitality hot spot will soon welcome guests.

Highlights along the way:

Going to Extremes: 37.5 Hours with NYC’s Largest Six-Axle Mobile Crane

How do two cooling towers get onto a 275-foot-tall hotel’s roof?

  • With a six-axle, 460-foot-tall, 350-ton capacity Liebherr LTM 1350 mobile crane—delivered from Germany just for this job, and one of only five cranes of its scale in North America.
  • With a multi-month planning phase and a 37.5-hour day on site that included closing four Manhattan streets, aligning the crane to its precisely engineered location (with less than seven inches to spare) and 13 hours of on-site crane set-up.
  • Next? Hoisting the towers 282 feet, placing them rooftop. Their total weight? A cool 28,000 pounds—that’s 14 tons.

Going to Great Lengths: A 40-foot Lap Pool, 14 Floors Up

Once the cooling towers were successfully installed 26 stories up, lifting the 40-foot lap pool into place on the 14th floor’s terrace seems easy. Some scoop:

  • The pool was pre-fabricated off-site in two, 20-foot-long pieces. Once delivered to the site, they were hoisted 133 feet and installed into a concrete basin in the outdoor deck.
  • Intensive coordination during the pool’s pre-fabrication assured the pool and its built-in systems of water and electrical piping aligned perfectly with the corresponding slots in the basin.
  • “It was a lot like a game of Tetris,” said Nickel’s Project Manager, Mohamed Abbas, summing up the tricky pool-alignment puzzle.

Good Construction Mitigation Makes Good Neighbors

Whether you’re the restaurant owner next door or live down the block, it’s tough having a hotel built on your street. Nickel’s work to ease the effect of construction included:

  • Hosting “Hard Hat” tours for the neighbors, for a behind-the-scenes understanding.
  • Scheduling the nosiest construction work after 8 a.m., to help folks get a little more shut-eye. (In a ‘hood with a thriving late night/early morning club scene, a 6 a.m. construction start doesn’t sit well.)
  • Assuring the placement of protective sidewalk sheds provided clear access to businesses; and, for the restaurant owner next door, arranging for permitting, so the shed could be gussied up into a welcoming entrance.