Leeding Builders Group LLC
Three core values paved the way for the founding of Leeding Builders Group LLC (LBG): tradition, experience and pride. At least that’s how Steven Socol, one of the two principals at LBG, describes the experience.
“I’ve worked for a major New York City construction company for nearly 20 years,” says Socol. “In 2005 I started and organized an in-house construction company for a private developer, which lasted until 2009. Following that, I felt the timing was right to start LBG; and three years ago I formed a partnership with Mario Carone, the other principal of LBG. Prior to our partnership we had worked together for over a decade. Combined, we have managed and completed over 4 million square feet of building; equating to over $750 million of various construction in the residential, hotel office space, landmark renovation, mixed-use, educational and exhibitory market sectors.”
Although the company is only a few years old, LBG is far from an infant company. Socol, himself, brings to the company nearly 30 years of construction management experience, while Carone holds more than 17 years of experience in the construction management industry. Together, the two principals have contributed a wealth of knowledge and experience to LBG, a company that has quickly become a go-to leader in the New York construction industry. Furthermore, LBG is also one of the very few select contractors to be approved for a subcontractor default insurance program; most contractors do not qualify.
Another key element to LBG’s success and a valuable resource to the company are the people that make up the organization. “They are people with the expertise, dedication and motivation to lead each project to success,” Socol says. LBG’s staff is a hands-on group that works with the client’s interest as priority No. 1. “We provide a variety of services for all phases of a project,” continues Socol.
LBG approaches each project as a unique development; analyzing a client’s needs for the project, while also discussing what LBG can perform. “What services we provide depends on the project and the client’s needs,” says Socol. “But regardless of those needs we’re very much involved throughout the whole process.”
As of 2014, most of LBG’s work has been in New York. “A majority of our work is in Manhattan, some in Queens and Brooklyn,” says Socol. The focused geographic reach allows the company to dominate an area high in residential construction demand without needing to hire a ton of employees spread across a wide region. “We currently have 25 employees, all talented individuals,” says Socol. “It’s about keeping a tight focus.”
Being primarily a construction management firm, LBG subcontracts out a majority of construction-related work. Therefore, the company only needs to employ skilled individuals capable of understanding the complexities of managing a construction project. LBG’s staff is trained in engineering, project management, estimating, scheduling and field supervision with the backup from an organized support staff.
And that, according to Socol, is exactly what the company has and does: provide unbeatable construction management services for projects small and large.
Examples of work
LBG completed a market-rate rental building in Long Island City that contained 199 apartments, totaling approximately 200,000 square feet. “The job went very well,” says Socol. “We completed the project ahead of schedule by four months and went well under budget.”
Socol and Carone speak nonchalantly about the project’s success because it doesn’t come as a surprise for such a talented company. LBG approaches every project with the intention of exceeding a client’s expectations, and as evident by the aforementioned project, the company proudly succeeds with that approach.
“Currently, we have three other projects underway,” says Socol. “The existing 12-story commercial building conversion to residential is a 147,300-square-foot mid-rise conversion, which features 66 high-end condominium units.”
Another project, a hotel, is currently in foundations. “It is a 32-story concrete superstructure with 250 hotel rooms,” Socol explains. “Another project, also in foundations, is a very high-end luxury condo, which has two 10-story towers. One tower on the east and the other on the west side of the elevated High Line Park. There will be 35 condominium units total for that project.”
Securing such large projects comes down to having a reputation of being honest and being responsive, according to Socol. People turn to LBG because the company has been able to deliver quality work over and over again, and with the amount of money involved in construction projects, clients want a company that has a proven track record.
“It also helps that we’re like a small family and love working with the people that work here,” says Socol. “Two years ago we had only four employees, and now we have over 20.”
For all of these reasons, much of the company’s workload comes from referrals. Socol himself says that referrals are what helped get the company to where it is now. Clients received outstanding results and felt others should receive the same, and the upward spiral began.
It’s crucial to remember that LBG began only a few years ago, and already the company has been involved with multimillion-dollar projects, received praise from countless clients and managed to build a reputation much larger than the company’s humble stature. Such a feat is often hard to achieve after decades of existence, never mind a handful of years after creation.
“If you asked us a few years ago, we would’ve said that we didn’t want the company to get too big, but now we’re at the point where we are thinking we should grow enough to serve our clients as they grow,” says Carone.
With how much work continues flowing toward LBG, the prospect of doubling in size – something the company has already done twice, based on employee growth – is a realistic opportunity that both Mario Carone and Steven Socol proudly see as feasible. After all, when a company is as successful as Leeding Builders Group LLC, it only makes sense.
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