Case Studies

CowBay Contracting

Building a product to be proud of with integrity for 42 years

For three generations, CowBay Contracting (CowBay) has been a full-service construction management firm based in Port Washington, N.Y. Since 1972, the family-owned and -operated company has delivered dependable construction from concept to completion with an open-book policy.

“We’re process-driven and everything is a process in today’s complex economic climate,” explains Joe D’Alonzo, second-generation president of CowBay. “There are numerous rules and regulations from insurance to government compliance, but CowBay’s transparency and ability to give our customers information quickly from our accurate reporting sets us apart.”

Precise, process-driven business

CowBay’s clear, efficient process spans a range of sectors, contributing to the company’s agility and longevity in a challenging construction world. “There’s always work for good companies,” says D’Alonzo. “We’re very diversified in who we work for, from corporate America to tenants and landlords. We’ll do gas stations and car washes to high-rises in Manhattan and also schools and doctors’ offices, including ground-up and alterations. Whatever the project is we have the process to deal with it.”

The company has been precise and process-driven since D’Alonzo’s father, Augie D’Alonzo, established the company in 1972. “My father retired about 20 years ago and the process of family succession began,” reveals D’Alonzo. “My twin brother is our vice president.”

Over the course of 42 years CowBay has learned how to handle any specific project with industry-leasing expertise. “When you’re dealing with a restaurant there’s 150 points in a 1,000-square-foot kitchen and that requires a process,” shares D’Alonzo. “Then a building in Manhattan; that requires a range of city agencies and compliance. We utilize Timberline Software, which has become an industry standard. It helps us segregate information in a readily, reportable fashion.”

More than pushing paper

CowBay now serves its extensive client base from two main offices in New York and Massachusetts with approximately 50 professionals. “We operate throughout New England, but mainly New York and Massachusetts,” reveals D’Alonzo.

CowBay not only tackles construction management and general contracting, the company also has diversified into landscaping and sprinkler irrigation systems. “Today, CowBay has two sides – the construction side and landscaping and sprinklers,” notes D’Alonzo. “We employ a tight-knit team of professionals, all devoted to their crafts, be it landscaping, construction, carpentry, sprinkler systems, masonry, plumbing, roofing, site work or design.”

The company’s in-house architects, project managers, estimators, attorneys and financial analysts make CowBay a one-stop shop from concept to completion. “Most construction managers and general contractors are paper contractors, but we have the ability to self-perform, making us a true contractor,” explains D’Alonzo. “The only services we subcontract are specialized MEP trades. We self-perform anything we can, depending on the client and the need.”

CowBay’s in-house service has been trusted for years by leading commercial clients such as Sherwin Williams, Sunoco, TD Bank, Duane Reade and also schools from Claremont Prep School to Montatessori School Les Enfants.

“We have a sweet spot in Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] compliance,” reveals D’Alonzo. “In fact, we have done more than 2,000 locations for the U.S. post office for ADA adherence. My guys can do the concrete, grab bars, carpentry and masonry; pretty much all of the above. If you were to segment the work and get a separate asphalt guy, carpenter and all that, then it would cost 10 times as much as what we can do it for.”

CowBay was also on the go in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. “We traveled throughout New York and New Jersey doing a lot of restoration work and sea walls in the aftermath,” reveals D’Alonzo.

A proud product

D’Alonzo’s travels throughout the Northeast have resulted in some interesting encounters with some of the country’s most successful CEOs and executives. “We’re blessed to work with some big name clients,” he reveals. “I’ve met Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, and the founder of Chipotle. One thing I’ve learned from some of these highly successful people is you need to focus on the product first.”

“Sure, Dave Thomas wanted to make a profit, but he made sure the hamburger was right all the time,” continues D’Alonzo. “If we take care of the little things, the big picture takes care of itself and we consider it an honor because we’re part of building people’s dreams and life-long aspirations.”

CowBay recently helped get a new Asian restaurant off the ground in Northport, N.Y. “It was a woman’s life-long dream to open a restaurant,” shares D’Alonzo. “She might be wildly successful or it might be the last one she opens, but either way, we treated the project like it was an honor and it truly is. That’s why we don’t really have to advertise, most of our business is generated via word-of-mouth. Our goal is to build repeat customers by getting the job done for the best price and quality.”

For three generations, CowBay Contracting has been doing just that, building with the same commitment to integrity and quality, delivering projects to be proud of.

Published on: July 21, 2014

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