For nearly a century, the Queens Chamber of Commerce has hosted an annual building awards event honoring the top builders, designers and architects of the year.
This year, the chamber received close to 100 nominations, according to chamber president Thomas Grech, ranging from small, single-family homes to larger developments. Board members then voted for 20 winners based on a number of different criteria. Those winners were recognized at a gala on December 6 at Terrace on the Park.
“We’re thrilled to honor a number of our members tonight,” Grech said, “and seeing the builders and the architects come together and show the pride that they have for the things that they’ve built.”
Queens Chamber board chairman Thomas Santucci said what makes a house into a home or a hospital comforting for those who visit is how a building functions. Developers, designers, engineers and architects have to put a lot of thought and preparation into everything they build.
He noted that Queens is continuing to grow every year. “The greatest art show is New York City skyline,” Santucci said, “and now it’s on both sides of the East River.”
The keynote speaker at the gala was John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. He spoke about the impact that Amazon, which is bringing 25,000 high-paying jobs to Long Island City, will have on the borough and the city.
“That’s nothing to be shy about,” Banks said. “That is a fantastic achievement that has come to the borough of Queens.”
No other project he has worked on has ever had a nine-to-one return on investment, which both the governor and mayor said Amazon will bring to New York, Banks said. With Google, Facebook and other companies making plans to expand, he predicted that New York City will continue to see tremendous job growth.
“It’s stunning,” Banks said. “New York is on the cusp of becoming a tech hub in the country.”