ABS Partners Becomes First New York City Landlord to Install Art-Inspired Sidewalk Scaffold Bridge


ABS Enlists Urban Umbrella to Install Elegant, Breakthrough Scaffold Bridge at 20 West 22nd Street

Full-service commercial real estate firm ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC. today announced that it is the first New York City landlord to utilize a new, modern and aesthetically pleasing sidewalk scaffold bridges. The firm, which manages upwards of eight million square feet of commercial space in New York City, is partnering with Urban Umbrella, a specialty scaffolding firm based in Toronto, to install unique scaffolding at 20 West 22nd Street, a 16-story building in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

After Beta testing in the Canadian market, Urban Umbrella is officially entering the New York market at 20 West 22nd Street, which will be its first and most prominent application in New York City. Made of recycled steel and translucent plastic panels, the stylish scaffolding resembles an unfurling umbrellalit by eco-friendly led lights. The structure is being installed at 20 West 22nd Street as ownership commences routine Local Law 11 façade work.

“At ABS, we always strive to be ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation and real estate technology.

Urban Umbrella is on the cutting edge of Scaffolding and we knew that a partnership produce positive results for our retail tenants,” said Robert Finkelstein, an executive managing director at ABS Partners Real Estate. “Urban Umbrella puts an artistic twist on traditional sidewalk sheds, which are often an eyesore. The Urban Umbrella that we’re installing at 20 West 22nd Street will be eye-catching and is evocative of ABS’ desire to provide our tenants with superior quality when it comes to building safety and aesthetics.”

Gregg Schenker, President and Co-Managing Partner of ABS, continued: "The ABS Partners Construction Management Team is delighted to have access to this new product that Urban Umbrella has developed, which carefully balances the need for safety coupled with a user-friendly experience for our tenants, visitors, pedestrians and all community stakeholders. Scaffolding has been a blight on NYC streets and this product is ideal to solve the complications inherent with the need to maintain safe areas adjacent to construction sites, particularly those where construction will endure for an extended period of time, and simultaneously take into account the consideration of the people using the areas in and around these sites."

“There are more than 10,000 scaffolding bridges in New York City that are hindering foot traffic and affecting the amount of business that companies get while hidden behind construction work. In New York, there has never been an alternative to these unattractive hunter green scaffolding bridges until now,” said Benjamin Krall, co-founder of Urban Umbrella. “After finding success in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, we were able to bring a more scalable and affordable version of Urban Umbrella to New York City this year. 20 West 22ndStreet will be our most prominent installation this fall and we expect more New York City landlords and developers to follow in ABS’ footsteps.”

Winner of the 2009 urbanSHED International Design Competition, Urban Umbrella provides sidewalk bridges that offer both pedestrian safely and building beautification. The brainchild of designer Young Choi, architect Andres Cortes and structural engineer Sarrah Khan, Urban Umbrella offers the first design alternative to urban sidewalk sheds in over 50 years.

Located in the Flatiron District, 20 West 22nd Street is a 16-story, 176,000-square-foot office building, which is exclusively leased and managed by ABS Partners Real Estate. The building is LEED certified and features dual attended lobbies, four upgraded elevators and new windows. The prime location is steps away from Madison Square Park, an array of retail shops, restaurants and mass transit, including the F, M, N, R, 1 and 6 subway lines. Tenants at the building include TOTO USA, The Washington Post and Real Estate Weekly.

About ABS Partners Real Estate

ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC is a New York-based real estate services firm. Founded by industry leaders, ABS has assembled a dynamic team of professionals with expertise in all facets of real estate services, including owner-advisory services, leasing, sales and property management. ABS also specializes in land use and ground lease consultation, the transfer of development rights, fractional ownership valuation, FAR valuation, and services specifically related to the issues faced by families holding real estate for multiple generations over. In addition to its service-related activities, the Principals of ABS are actively engaged in partnerships to own real estate. Brokers at ABS have the opportunity to participate in those partnerships. The founders of the firm believe that by owning real estate the members of the firm are better able to serve its clients by gaining a deeper, first-hand understanding of the needs of property owners.

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