BY BENJAMIN FANG
In the biggest event hosted by the Queens Chamber of Commerce every year, the annual Building Awards and Gala brought together the best builders, designers and real estate executives in the borough.
Hosted at Terrace on the Park, the ceremony celebrated excellence in new construction, rehabilitation or adaptive uses, interior design and open or enclosed public spaces.
Out of more than 75 applicants, a committee selected 19 of the best projects. Winners included the Gerald Caliendo Architects building, Mount Sinai Queens Pavilion and The Jackson.
Mayra DiRico, chairperson of the Queens Chamber Executive Committee, said the chamber has been celebrating excellence for decades.
“We recognize all the hard work, all the time it takes to construct the most beautiful buildings,” she said.
She applauded the building owners, who invest their money to create a better future for the borough. She also congratulated the architects, who develop the design and vision of the projects.
“You create the blueprint to success,” she said. “It’s your passion that makes the difference.”
Finally, she gave thanks to the builders, who take that vision and make it happen.
The keynote speaker of the night was Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler, who spoke about the importance of striking a balance between safety and development. He described the work the agency has done to create accountability, such as increasing penalties and fines, conducting safety sweeps and requiring more training.
“We’re determined to build a culture of safety in New York City,” he said.