New York City’s Commitment to Design-Build: A Conversation with Tom Foley

DBIA caught up with New York City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Tom Foley in April at the Spring Specialty Conferences in Cincinnati to talk about the extensive design-build work the city is undertaking and the transformative impact it’s having on urban development. Watch the full interview, or check out some of the highlights.

Building the Future: Insights from Tom Foley

Foley is a long-time advocate for design-build as a crucial tool for urban development. “We literally build the city,” he said, highlighting the work of over 1,200 engineers and architects dedicated to improving the city. The city’s first design-build project, the Queens Garage and Community Center, was completed in just 22 months. 

Mayor Adams Praises Design-Build at Marlboro Greenhouse Groundbreaking

The benefits of design-build have also been echoed by Mayor Eric Adams at the Marlboro Greenhouse project groundbreaking in June. Mayor Adams praised the design-build approach: “Design-build is a home run. It cuts red tape, reduces delays and saves money. That’s a win-win-win.”

The Mayor highlighted how design-build allows for faster and more efficient project delivery, enabling communities to benefit sooner from new developments and lauded Foley and his team for mastering the art of design-build.

Progressive Design-Build: Advocating for the Future

Foley also advocates for progressive design-build, which he believes is essential for the future success of New York City’s infrastructure projects. With billions of dollars allocated for storm-related projects and the challenges posed by climate change, Foley has argued that progressive design-build is the perfect contract delivery tool. He says there is a need for continued advocacy in Albany to secure this vital tool for the city’s resiliency and sustainability efforts.

Tom Foley’s Role on DBIA’s National Board

In addition to his role as Commissioner, Foley serves as the Vice Chair on DBIA’s National Board of Directors. His leadership and expertise are instrumental in promoting design-build methodologies and fostering collaboration within the industry. Foley’s commitment to design-build is evident in his efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and ensure that all voices are included in the city’s development projects.

New York City’s dedication to design-build under Tom Foley’s leadership has showcased the transformative potential of this project delivery method. From faster project completion to increased collaboration and innovation, design-build is helping to build a better, more resilient city. As Foley and his team continue to advocate for progressive design-build, the future of New York City’s infrastructure looks promising and sustainable.