April 29, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY — Environetics is an architectural design, interior design, planning , and project management firm that has been going strong for 70 years. With two primary offices based in New York and Los Angeles, it has recently been expanding its work with unions. We sat down with David Rush, President, and Jay Cohen, a Principal, to learn more about the projects and what makes this firm stand out in the crowded New York field.
The firm was established in 1946, and its status as a prominent architectural firm grew from the mid 1940’s through the 1970’s. As well as the New York and L.A. offices, there are outposts in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Through the synergy of all the offices sharing resources, knowledge, and relationships, the firm was able to win union projects; all to date have been in New York. They recently completed the Plumbers Union Local 1’s new building, in 2015, along with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Local Union 137 (SMART), in early 2016. They are presently designing a new building in Long Island City for the Mason Tenders Training Fund (LIUNA).
Says Cohen, “We are looking to grow the union segments of our practice,” particularly at these times when, as he says, “Unions are going through a lot of changes as a result of the rising costs of real estate.” Working with the firm can help unions maximize their results. He gave the example of the Plumber’s Union, which with the firm was able to create an area within their building that could be used to sublet to other tenants and bring in income. Removing some columns within the space created an uninterrupted visual field, and installing removable walls in what had been a lounge and two classrooms made it perfect for use as an assembly hall.
Says Rush, “Our goal is to be the right strategic partner. We’re not just doing our job, we’re trying to do everything we can – explore all the options , make the best decisions. Some are initially reluctant, but the exploration is important.” Rush and Cohen place a high value also on transparency and accountability. Says Cohen, “Particularly with unions, you have fiduciaries and attorneys and others that are at the meetings that are looking for the best value we can give to them, as are we.”
At this milestone in time, says Rush, “The firm is very excited about the recognition of the 70 years of the firm’s existence, and is currently preparing for a branding campaign to revitalize how our current and future clients will know Environetics.”