We’ve been bringing you an inside look at The New York Palace upgrades, but now we are taking you behind the scenes to showcase the designers, artists and historians who are making the new designs a reality.
As a New York landmark, The Palace searched high and low for top talent to modernize the hotel while also maintaining its prestige and historical integrity. We wanted The Palace to be fresh and up-to-date, so we selected elite people to work with us to help our vision come to life.
We caught up with David McCaslin, President of Northwood Hospitality, who provided some insight on the partner selection process.
The New York Palace: As we work with numerous vendors for our upgrades, please explain the process in which industry contractors are selected.
David McCaslin: We identified a list of artists and designers who we think could be good for the particular assignments and reach out to them to ascertain availability and experience. We then put together an RFP (Request for Proposal) where in we solicited presentations with a predetermined list of requirements and objectives to meet. We looked at whom we had used before, plus recommendations from those we respected and we looked at other projects to identify those firms that had worked on those projects. We also had firms approach us directly.
The New York Palace: A majority of the partners are located in New York. Could you explain the importance of the talent being from NYC?
David McCaslin: Being from New York means ease of communication and meetings and a familiarity with the property, its importance and what the codes are like in the city. Knowing the New York code was a plus for contractors but nor a requirement as not all firms were from New York. We went as far away as London and Tokyo.
The New York Palace: What criteria were used to select the talent?
David McCaslin: The two primary considerations were past projects for luxury hotels anywhere in major markets and experience with the New York market. The secondary criteria were the quality of the presentation, availability of personnel and cost.
The New York Palace: How did the talent present their work?
David McCaslin: There was a written response to the RFP followed by a presentation of their ideas, both electronically and in paper form. For the final presenters, they physically gave a presentation of their ideas and went through a Q&A, as well as providing a scope of work and cost estimate.
The New York Palace: Have any of the designers, artists and contractors been utilized before?
David McCaslin: Yes, we had worked with BBG-BBGM on the Revere Hotel in Boston, Crestron was an existing vendor in the hotel, Benjamin West had done the purchasing for the Revere Hotel in Boston and the John Hardy Group had done project management for the Revere Hotel in Boston.