Case Studies

C & L Contracting Corp

Putting in the Elbow Grease as a General Contractor
  • Written by: C & L Contracting Corp
  • Produced by: C & L Contracting Corp
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

C & L Contracting Corp. (C & L), founded in 1986, serves the public sector in five boroughs of New York City. The general contracting company goes by an old school model of performing as much work as the company subcontracts for a real hands-on approach.

            “I like to refer to C & L as an ‘old-time GC,'” says owner Tony Massaro. “We perform approximately 40 percent of the work, subcontract approximately 40 percent of the work and the remaining 20 percent covers general requirements, overhead and profit.”

            Massaro reports the company performs most of the concrete, carpentry, site work, excavation and masonry with a full0time presence on the project in the field and through management. This work ethic helps C & L control the pace of a project and provide proper management.

            “Most of our competitors are ‘brokers’ who subcontract nearly the entire project and try to manage the job from their main office,” says Massaro. “We set up a full scale office on each jobsite with a permanent management team. In addition, my partner and I are involved with every project on almost a daily basis.”

            Massaro joined C & L in 1995 with a goal to diversify the company. At the time, C & L had one client – Columbia University. Through networking, Massaro brought C & L into the public sector and established relationships with major construction managers in the area.

            At the time Massaro came on board, the company saw combined sales of $8,000 since its founding. In the past 18 years Massaro reports the company has a combined sales total of just over $180.6 million. The company started 2013 with a significant backlog of work and continues to grow.


Strong Relationships = Strong Business


            “We have an excellent reputation for establishing relationships with the users of our projects,” says Massaro.

            C & L has worked with entities such as Columbia University, The Staten Island Zoo, Museum of the City of New York, Queens Theatre in the Park and currently Staten Island Museum. The company has gone the extra mile to even be involved with raising additional funds for given projects.

            Many jobs C & L has been general contract on have also garnered national recognition. In 2010, C & L began work on the Central Park Police Precinct renovation project. The existing building had leaky roofs and inadequate space.

            The $49 million project led by C & L turned the 1871 structure into a larger, more stable space for the police force. Usable space was increased from 20,763 square feet to 23,016 square feet. The U-shaped building’s courtyard is an organizing feature of the structure, which also has bulletproof glass. Ultimately, the Lucy Moses Preservation Award recognized the project in 2012 as best renovation.

            C & L was also general contractor for Staten Island Zoo’s reptile wing. The Carl F. Kauffeld House of Reptiles opened to the public in April 2007 and was recognized by New York Construction’s Best of 2007 Awards. C & L helped build the 13,000-square-foot wing that was developed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

            The $12.7 million project was completed over the course of two years. Work included demolishing the existing 68-year-old space and replacing it with the new facility. The new space includes classrooms, offices and public spaces as well as enlarged exhibit areas. Work was completed all while the zoo continued regular operation.


Overcoming Challenges


            There’s no doubt that C & L has come a long way in its 27 years. Since Massaro came on board, the company has grown by over 2,800 percent. It has established relationships with clients and built upon a reputation of safety and quality work. The company also maintains relationships with vendors and subcontractors through prompt payment.

            Despite these successes, C & L has faced challenges with the poor economy in recent years.

            “This has left ups in a position where we need to re-diversify,” says Massaro. “Currently we’re only working in the public sector. In the next several years, we look to regain work in the private sector.”

            Massaro has his eye on working with institutional type customers and expanding within the public sector to other opportunities. He believes this will come easily for C & L because of the excellent reputation and foundation of relationships already established.

            Over the next few years, C & L will honor those relationships with existing clients and pursue area trends. One thing is for sure, Massaro has goals to continue growing C & L Contracting Corp.’s profitability for years to come.

Published on: August 26, 2013

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