T.G. Nickel & Associates – 25 Kent Avenue

TG Nickel 25 Kent AveT.G. Nickel & Associates nears completion of the first office building constructed in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Williamsburg neighborhood in nearly 50 years. 

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

T.G. Nickel & Associates prides itself on building with integrity and taking a hands-on approach to ensure customer satisfaction remains high and clients return to its experienced team for future projects. For the past 20 years, T.G. Nickel has served as advocates for its clients, investing itself in every project and customizing its planning and construction approach to best fit the needs of the clients. 

President Thomas Nickel, Executive Vice President, Operations Joseph Chiarelli and Executive Vice President, Technical Services Douglas Renna founded the construction management and general contracting firm in Long Island, N.Y., in 1998. After years of working together for a major construction management company in New York City, the three partners leveraged their years of industry experience to create a new firm that provided a healthy work-life balance.TG Nickel 25 Kent Avenue info box  

“They wanted to create a company that allowed them to be there for their families, which I can speak to because my dad, [Thomas Nickel], was always there coaching my little league team,” says Ryan Nickel, project development. “We continue to live by that original concept and make it known that family does come first, and we treat all of our employees like extended members of the family.”

In the beginning, the company focused on K-12, colleges, libraries and religious institution projects in Long Island and has continued to grow through market diversification. About 12 years ago, T.G. Nickel secured its first major job in New York City, which was also its first boutique condominium project. “It was also our first experiment with the open shop model that was not used predominantly in the city, but worked out very well,” Nickel says. “We started building $10 million to $20 million boutique condos that were 10,000 to 20,000 square feet. Over the past six years, that has become $100 million to $200 million projects most being done through open shop model. We have 12 years of open shop experience and have always been non-signatory, so we can customize a labor strategy and maintain long-term relationships.”  

Today, T.G. Nickel is one of New York’s preeminent builders and a recognized leader in open shop construction, delivering high-profile projects that are transforming the city’s neighborhoods. The company has received a number of top contractor awards and recognition as a “Best Place to Work” for two consecutive years. “We work very hard at maintaining a strong family culture and we are convinced its why Nickel has been so successful,” says Thomas Nickel. “And we also want to thank our clients for entrusting us with their projects.”

Celebrating the 20th anniversary this year is emotional, Ryan Nickel says. “This has been my family’s business since I was nine years old when my dad started the company,” he says. “I’ve grown up with some of the employees that have worked here for so many years, seen them at holiday parties and company picnics, and to still see them here is special. To see the success the three partners have had through all their hard work, determination and hands-on approach is a big deal. It’s been incredible to witness where 20 years has taken us and we can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring.” 

25 Kent Avenue

T.G. Nickel is overseeing the construction of an eight-story, 500,000-square-foot, warehouse-inspired office building at 25 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. “This is the first new office building in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in many years,” Senior Project Manager Michael Saracco says. “Williamsburg is very hip with a good vibe and nightlife. There’s some residential, light industrial and one- and two-story manufacturing buildings.”

Through the city’s land use and review process, developers Rubenstein Partners and Heritage Equity Partners received a special permit allowing them to build the eight-story commercial-industrial building. The previously held zoning would only allow for one or two stories of development. “The rezoning is allowing others to try and do the same, which is why 25 Kent Avenue is an important project,” Saracco notes. 

T.G. Nickel has been involved with the project since the pre-construction phase in December 2015 and broke ground in September 2016. Gensler acted as the building’s design development architect and HWKN as its design architect. The building, which will marry the style of turn-of-the-century brick factories with modern glass and new building infrastructure, will have a red brick façade with 9-foot-wide by 11-foot-tall single pane glass punched windows on two sides and a glass curtain wall on the other two sides.

“It is a really unique design with the size of the glass punch windows and curtain wall panels, which is one of the reasons we went overseas to a European manufacturer because no one stateside would try to manufacture it due to the sheer size. It’s one giant piece of glass,” Saracco says. “One of the main features, the inverted slope curtain wall, is one of our greatest challenges on this project because it gets wider as it goes up and at the center core area. It required a lot of coordination to get that installed.”

25 Kent Avenue will offer 350,000 square feet of office space, 70,000 square feet of retail and 80,000 square feet of light manufacturing. T.G. Nickel expects the building to be completed by the end of this year, which Saracco says was a tight construction schedule. “We really have an excellent relationship with all of our subcontractors and a lot of teamwork went into coordinating this job,” he adds. “Our relationship with the owners and subcontractors allowed us to fast-track the project.”

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