The BankNote developers, Taconic Investment Partners, LLC and Denham WolfReal Estate Services, have announced plans to work with Spector Group in creating a campus environment in a portion of the building suitable for professional training programs and higher education institutions.

Already home to two charter schools, The BankNote has customizable space ranging from 15,000 to 300,000 s/f. The building is close to transportation and is surrounded by established cultural and artistic organizations. Education plans include developing private entrances and collaborative education programs
with current tenants and community organizations.

“Higher education and social development are the key components in the rebuilding and revitalization of New
York City neighborhoods,” said Charles Bendit, co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners. “We are pleased that we can
support higher-level education in New York City by developing a campus setting in a section of The BankNote.”

Schools in The BankNote include the J. V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School and a DOE program.


On November 5, 2009 at The Inn at New Hyde Park located in New Hyde Park, the AIA Long Island Chapter celebrated an evening full of festivities as they commemorated outstanding architectural achievement.

We are pleased to announce that Spector Group received the following six design awards.

Gold Award: Pall Corporation

Gold Award: North Shore Hebrew Academy

Gold Award: Private Residence 1

Gold Award: Private Residence 2

Commendation: Temple Beth Sholom Early Childhood Center

Furniture Award: Hellman and Friedman


Spector Group today announced that it has completed a state-of-the-art, 276,000-square-foot campus in Port Washington, New York for Pall Corporation. The revamped facility will serve as the new world headquarters for the Fortune 1000 filtration, separation and purification solutions company, whose annual sales for fiscal year 2009 totaled $2.3 billion.

“Every aspect of this innovative design is aimed at increasing productivity and creating transparency so that the community, employees and building’s visitors can feel connected,” explains Spector Group principal Marc Spector, AIA. “In addition, we employed the latest in sustainable design to reduce the use of energy and carbon extracts wherever possible, from low energy ballasts and fluorescent/incandescent lighting fixtures to the use of top-grade insulated and triple-glazed glass. Furthering the building’s green design elements are insulated walls and a roof intended to create a thermal barrier to keep cold air from being transmitted inside the building.”

Spector Group oversaw all architecture, campus planning, engineering and interior design services for the building, which boasts an artistic, sculpture-like design scheme featuring: 35-foot ceilings; a floor-to-ceiling glass cafeteria module; a bi-level glass lobby space filled with bamboo and low cover plantings; glass-walled offices encompassing sales, marketing, science and technology groups among open workstations; a café and galleries lit by skylights; and numerous light wells throughout the space. The facility is the length of three football fields.

In its role as design and lead architect, Spector closely analyzed Pall’s two existing facilities in Nassau County, Long Island before arriving at the optimal, most cost effective solution for housing the company’s offices, research and development spaces and laboratories. Pall expanded its Port Washington location, consolidating operations into one modernized, environmentally-friendly space. “All parties worked closely with one another to form a true partnership – general contractor and construction manager J.T. Magen & Company Inc. and the project manager and owner’s representative VVA, as well as our firm and Pall – which led to the design being seamlessly brought to reality both on schedule and within budget,” says Spector, who also notes that the project’s approval process was expedited due to overwhelming support from the town of North Hempstead and its surrounding community.


Abu Dhabi, UAE and Jeddah, KSA Locations Position Spector Group In the Midst of Thriving, High Growth Region

Spector Group announces the opening of its first office to be located in the Middle East, specifically Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The office is located at Suite 212 in the Al Corniche Tower in Khalidiya, a bustling retail and commercial district that is home to several embassies and prominent businesses.

Furthering its commitment to growth in the Middle East, Spector has also established its presence in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in collaboration with a small consortium of prominent international professional engineers. The KSA is considered to be the fastest growing Middle Eastern economic market, comprising 25 percent of the Arab world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, the country’s economy grew 5.6 percent between 2008 and 2009 and $1.4 trillion worth of construction is anticipated over the next five to seven years. In 2008 alone, the Saudi government signed 3,200 private sector contracts valued at $22.2 billion.

Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a major construction program with a total of 83 projects ranging from the $400 million King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh to the $5 million Qatif Central Hospital expansion in the Eastern Province. It is the largest market for medical equipment and healthcare products in the Gulf and the Ministry of Health (MOH) is the largest buyer representing approximately 60 percent of the market for such products. The Kingdom is also the largest market (importing 99 percent of its requirements) in the Middle East for pharmaceuticals, with 65 percent of all Gulf region sales. New projects, together with refurbishment and expansion of existing hospitals and clinics, both MOH and private, will provide a surge in demand for all types of medical equipment in all fields of healthcare.

“Saudi Arabia and the UAE are ripe with growth and opportunities, particularly for a firm with our expertise,” says Marc B. Spector, AIA, who is overseeing the expansion in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah from the firm’s New York office. “Our specialty in sustainable ‘eco-friendly’ LEED certified architecture gives us a deeper understanding of the design complexities inherent in this area’s varying climate and ecosystem — even in buildings just miles apart from one another. We are working closely with the local governments, owners, developers and companies to create eco-friendly design solutions and to procure additional work in this booming region.” Spector is currently engaged in several projects, and reviewing plans for others, in the health care and housing sectors.

The expansion underscores Spector’s continuing market strength. “Many architecture firms are either laying off staff or closing offices,” says Spector. “My firm hasn’t had to do either. Through a smart business strategy and new and ongoing work, we are bucking the trend and remaining stable in a market that is anything but.”


By Scott E. Spector, AIA

Security has always been a front and center issue for banks, federal buildings, museums and the like, but since September 11th it has become a priority for everyone. Walk into any Class A office building these days and you will notice scanning identification booths, emergency bollards designed to prevent truck blasts, and high-tech x-ray machines to examine both visitors and their bag contents. As recently as five years ago, “more is more” was the prevailing thought on security and many companies employed over-the-top redundancy to cover their bases. However, when incorporating high security into design, one size does not necessarily fit all.

A recent assignment Spector was hired for perfectly illustrates this point. As lead architect for Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services’ (CFASS) new Brooklyn location, our firm was charged with retrofitting an industrial factory into a 200,000-square-foot art storage facility for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of fine art, antiques and collectibles.

To attain maximum security and send the message to clients that their valuables would be safe, we worked alongside Christie’s security department and consultants to create accessible, yet secure storage. The design featured numerous visible security measures including infared video cameras, biometric meters and motion-activated monitors, as well as a host of other controls and systems to be directly observed by CFASS’s guards and maintenance engineers. Since this site will store some of the world’s most revered works of art – including pieces from Picasso and Van Gogh, among others – security was that much more imperative. Our firm also had to be attentive to the customer flow circulating through the facility, given the site and its existing structural conditions. The design of the lobby and corridors was carefully choreographed by the entire project team to promote a smooth flow of traffic both inside and outside of the building and to optimize security through the use of smart design and top-notch technology.

In working with the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, Spector employed a similar approach, blending in security devices while allowing them to remain visible to those in the open office areas for a greater level of “known security.” In contrast, a casino would call for a more incorporative design whereby 25 to 50 percent of the cameras are hidden so that patrons are not necessarily aware of the extent of security. Luxury retailers have a similar need for subtle security so that they can protect their merchandise while keeping shoppers at ease.

View lines are especially important in bank branch design. Gone are the days where banks feature simple teller stations behind bulletproof glass. Today cameras and security guards allow for a more self-service environment, which means not only incorporating monitoring into the design, but also keeping an eye on lines of vision so that guards can see from optimal vantage points what is taking place at all times.

Tenants are not the only ones reaping the benefits of proactively working with architects. Real estate brokers, owners’ representatives and project managers are quickly realizing the importance of consulting architects during pre-lease negotiations and the programming of staff and support space needs. Together they can evaluate safety logistics, check security parameters, and assess if a building’s structural system matches the tenant’s needs. For instance, a jewelry manufacturer may require a massive on-site vault that some buildings are not ideally suited for. By joining real estate professionals and their clients on property tours, design professionals can support their efforts and determine if the lighting, view lines, and floor level are appropriate.

While it is sometimes difficult to maintain the design integrity of a project while meeting its security needs, working with an architect as early as possible can ensure a positive result. Considering the logistics of a building’s entrance or its lobby can prevent security devices from becoming an impediment to clean design. Even individual tenants’ spaces can be more secure by examining the IT/data centers, looking closely at the overall layout and examining visibility lines.

Our most successful projects are ones where we meet with IT consultants (or in-house IT directors) and security experts to discuss the security needs of a particular building or business early on. When the level of security and means of achieving it are specific to the usage it saves companies or landlords money and creates peace of mind. Combining aesthetics with practicality is certainly a challenge, but one that can be offset with advance planning. This forethought and flexibility leads to the result every client wants: a secure, yet inviting space.


Square Feet | The 30-Minute Interview
Scott E. Spector

Mr. Spector, 46, is a principal of the Spector Group, a midsize architecture and design firm with offices in Manhattan and Woodbury, N.Y.

The company — founded by his father, Michael Harris Spector, in 1965 — has completed more than 1,000 projects.

Q. How has your firm been affected by the downturn?

A. We’ve been fortunate that business is steady. A lot of that is attributed to some of the larger projects that we won a year and a half to two years ago — projects like Christie’s, the auction house, out in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The bigger work can sustain the group through bad times.

Q. How is the Christie’s project coming along?

A. It’s coming out just beautifully. It’s a great adaptive reuse of an existing building — an old factory — that we’re retrofitting to a high-end art storage facility. That project has taken a good part of this office a year and a half to work on, and now we’re in the throes of construction. Come December, it’s finished.

Q. This new warehouse will hold worksby Monet, Picasso and other renowned artists. What will security be like there?

A. It’s the James Bond of security, tracking the flow for customers, vendors and the employees.

Q. Is your firm involved in any ground zero work?

A. Some of our bigger projects that we’ve been nurturing downtown — the whole ground zero redevelopment — are now coming to fruition. You see steel going up down there. There are 100 peripheral buildings feeding off that whole facility.

We’re working with Brookfield Properties — it’s one of our landlord relationships — on multiple projects that accommodate goings on with ground zero. There are different strategies, for example, associated with the Winter Garden. There’s an entrance pavilion piece there that has to work with the Port Authority. It’s a variety of different tasks.

Q. What has been your most enjoyable project?

A. Definitely the most fun project is the Nasdaq Stock Market. We’re doing some work at the market site right now, which is at Times Square, more signage-related on the outside.

We’ve had Nasdaq as a client for eight years, and we have done everything. We’ll change a light bulb for these guys. We’ve done projects in Washington, London, Beijing. We put together a standards program for all their interiors worldwide. That includes furniture systems and all the architectural elements you see in a given space.

We did 1500 Broadway. They were originally going to move there — taking five floors — and they ended up staying downtown after it was finished. So we sublet all of that space. We did all the design work for the tenants — those were the ultimate prebuilts.

Q. Do you do a lot of prebuilts?

A. We’re doing a lot of these turnkey built-to-suits. We’ll be the buffer between the landlord and the tenant.

Q. The Spector Group is also involved with the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum project, an eco-friendly development featuring a new arena, hotel, office space and residential units. What’s the status of the project?

A. They’re getting through the environmental-impact issues right now. I think the financing piece is going to take its time. But it’s going in the right direction.

Q. How would you define your style?

A. We’re a Modernist firm.

Q. Is the future in your industry in sustainable design?

A. Yes. Everyone is going to be sustainable. You’re going to see, in my opinion, building owners almost require it. We have a bunch of LEED projects in the office right now, and it is costing more today, but it won’t in two to five years. The sustainable characteristics will already be inherent in every material. All the furniture systems — everything.

Q. Did you always want to be an architect?

A. Freshman year at the University of Michigan, I studied sports medicine, because I was an athlete in high school. But it became apparent I was better in physics than organic chemistry.

My dad was a huge influence. I was doing construction when I was 16 on sites that he designed. I was digging ditches and cleaning clay off foundations. When I was younger, we used to say, Dad’s going to take us to visit the dirt. He was the developer’s architect on Long Island. We visited a lot of dirt.

Q. Do you want to be a “starchitect”?

A. No, we don’t need to be a starchitect. Most of the starchitects’ spaces leak. We don’t let them leak.


Marc Spector Discusses Deepdale on “Daily Show”

What’s Jon Stewart’s ‘take’ on Marc Spector’s discussion of the Village of North Hills taking over the exclusive Deepdale Golf Club via eminent domain? See Marc on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Youtube.

The Daily Show – it’s even better than being informed!


Nassau County Aquatic Center
East Meadow, New York

The County of Nassau has commissioned The Spector Group for Complete Design Services for Restoration and Additions to the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, New York.

Originally constructed for the Goodwill Games, and for other National and International Competitions, the County intends to fully rehabilitate, restore and create additions to the Aquatic Center. Recognized as one of the finest swimming facilities in the U.S., it regularly hosts major swimming and diving competitions, as well as local high school events and swim clubs. Over the years, dozens of U.S. and world swimming records have been set at the Aquatic Center. The facility also hosts thousands of Nassau County residents of all ages, who make the pool and Health Club part of their regular exercise regimen.

The 82,000-square-foot Center includes a “stretch” 50-meter Olympic Pool that is 68 meters long, with three movable bulkheads. There is a diving well with a 10-meter competition diving tower — the only such tower in the New York Metropolitan area.