The DeMatteis Organizations
- Written by: Molly Cohen
- Produced by: Matt Duncan
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Leon DeMatteis founded Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation (LDDCC) in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1918, he probably did not foresee it expanding to the group of companies now known collectively as the DeMatteis Organizations. With LDDCC leading the way, the DeMatteis family eventually expanded its construction services to include full-service residential management, airport development and management and more. Leon’s son, Frederick, was the chairman of the organization, and his two sons Richard and Scott now lead the company as its principals.
“We are a privately held, family-run company that has been in existence for more than 90 years. We have limitless capability … we have built everything conceivable, including the Saudi Arabian National Guard Headquarters Complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and more school buildings than any other contractor in the area,” says Alfonso “Al” DiMeo, an executive vice president at DeMatteis. “There’s no job that won’t be taken, as long as it’s feasible.” The company has also successfully managed mixed-use developments internationally that comprise millions of square feet and hundreds of millions of dollars.
Many Specialties, Always Quality
The DeMatteis Organizations began expanding the range of sectors in which it works in 1949, also the year when the company moved from its original office to an office in Elmont on Long Island. At that time the DeMatteis Organizations became the largest builder of public schools in the area and also began working on public projects, commercial projects, luxurious condominiums and extensive urban renewal developments.
Now the DeMatteis Organizations are known as an overall construction and real estate company. The group’s services include general contracting, construction management, design-build contracts and interior design and renovation for residential, commercial, governmental facilities, etc.
DiMeo, who has been in the industry since 1948, reiterates that the DeMatteis Organizations’ niches are “unlimited … We do everything. We are the low bidder for the Sanitation Department’s garage in New York City. That will be $195 million for our general contracting work. We construct public schools, perform work for the Transit Authority, etc. We built and developed EAB Plaza, which provided impetus for other new developments around the Nassau Coliseum.”
With more than 100 employees in multiple locations, the DeMatteis Organizations are more than capable of meeting the area’s everyday construction need. This ability equates to annual revenue of over $250 million.
All the same the DeMatteis Organizations, much as others in the industry, have suffered a bit from the recession. To remain strong, the DeMatteis Organizations are taking several steps to review company strengths and make any and all necessary changes to continue as a leading developer/general contractor.
Flexing its Range Strength
While no company enjoys assessing its internal personnel strengths, the DeMatteis Organizations’ employees must be top-notch, because the company, using the design-build delivery model and acting as project manager, subcontracts out much of its work. The company uses whoever is most appropriate and capable of meeting quality standards within the price range; however, the DeMatteis Organizations’ have used many companies repeatedly since we were founded, selected based on timely performance and their quality of work.
Such subcontractors were an important asset to the Organizations during work on a recent project: Mott Haven School in the Bronx, which included a primary school, secondary school and high school.
This school complex was the largest school complex undertaken by the NYC School Construction Authority and the Dematteis Organizations are proud of the company’s accomplishment of completing this on time. The building was designed for a site that was part of an inactive rail yard. It is now the site for three different schools, with an 8.3-acre athletic field. In late 2006 the Dematteis Organizations broke ground on this $160 million, three school project. The separate schools are built over two below-ground floors that comprise their shared facilities – auditorium, music rooms, dance studio, library, kitchens, cafeterias, gyms and locker rooms, etc. In total, the building will hold 3,300 fifth through 12th grade students in three buildings set on a common cellar and basement, and the community will have use of many of its facilities after the school day finishes.
In addition to the Mott Haven School, the DeMatteis Organizations are building the General Service Administration facility at 40th Street for the federal government. It overlooks the East River, and one of its special conditions is that it be constructed utilizing blast proof criteria established by the Government.
Beyond these two projects the DeMatteis Organizations are always looking for more multi-component projects through which the company can utilize the group’s expertise, from middle-income residential, luxury multi-family housing etc. to advanced office development. The company is especially adept at high-rise residential and (smart) commercial development.
“Although the economy is faltering, it will come back,” DiMeo foresees, so he expects the company will just “keep doing what we’ve been doing, bid on projects that are bigger, better and more interesting” for the forthcoming years.
“We’ve got fourth generation of DeMatteis currently ‘on board,’ and others will follow,” says DiMeo. And with the new generation comes new ideas of how to further the DeMatteis Organizations’ longstanding reputation for quality in an adverse economy. The company is recognized as one of the oldest continuously family-owned and -operated construction groups in the New York Metropolitan area, and Corporate Design & Realty Magazine has ranked the company among the top 25 real estate developers in the nation.
Having added dramatically to the New York skyline and infrastructure, the DeMatteis Organizations can look forward to appreciating their achievements as a crucial construction leader for decades more.
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