New City Construction
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Co-founded in 2005 by Joey Yaffe, New City Construction is an all-inclusive design-build firm specializing in residential construction and remodeling. Originally located in Baltimore City, the company relocated its headquarters to Laurel, Maryland, in 2010.
The company was initially founded as an urban redevelopment firm, but quickly brought construction management and general contracting in-house. “Six months after starting the development company, we hired our first construction manager,” says Yaffe. “We were doing Baltimore City projects primarily for ourselves and for other developers for the first couple of years, but then that market disappeared in 2008.”
Upon hitting the recession, Yaffe had to find a new customer base and concluded that New City’s skills could be adapted for homeowners. “At that time, homeowners were still active in the marketplace, while developers were essentially gone,” says Yaffe. “We decided to move the business to Laurel to focus on the more affluent areas of Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland, and Washington D.C.” New City’s developer sensibility endured in its approach to client projects, even for homeowners. “We often help our clients evaluate the construction investment they are making relative to the value they are creating in their properties,” notes Yaffe.
The staff at New City is skilled at construction planning and management, both in-office and in the field. As a design-build operation, New City offers turnkey service to clients on all projects. With the many obstacles that clients face building or remodeling residential property, especially in the Washington D.C. area, New City is a firm that clients can rely on to help navigate the hurdles. “That’s where we really shine,” says Yaffe. “The whole D.C permitting and utility process can really be a black hole for some people. We have the resources and experience to anticipate the challenges and get things moving, while always keeping communication and customer service as our top priorities.”
Enjoying a challenge
Several years ago, New City performed a full-gut renovation of a 100-year-old rowhouse in Washington D.C. “The front of the building was falling forward by about 8 to 10 degrees,” says Yaffe. “If you went up to the third floor of the house, you would see that there were about 4 inches between the front bay and the rest of the house. We had to use helical piers in order to be able to basically crank that portion of the house back into position. This is the type of complexity, at least from a structural standpoint, that we can handle.”
In 2008, New City completed the biggest project it has taken on in 10 years as a business. The project involved renovating 24 town houses for Howard County Housing. “The complexity of it was the fact that all the units were occupied,” says Yaffe. “What we were able to do was not only provide the construction services, but we also provided all of the tenant communications.” New City worked with the director and staff at Howard County Housing and devised a program for tenant communications as well as sourcing temporary housing for the residents.
“We hired a moving company to move the tenants’ belongings to locked on-site containers, and the tenants themselves were moved to furnished, temporary housing,” says Yaffe. “We ran six cycles of four units each in three-week intervals. During that time, our crews went in and did their work.” The project ran from early September to December 23. “We were really happy because we got everyone back in their homes before Christmas.”
According to Yaffe, New City uses subcontractors for about 95 percent of the work it does. New City has established relationships with many subs, while continuing to create new partnerships as well. “We definitely have a set of subcontractor relationships that we’ve built up over time, but not every subcontractor is right for every project,” says Yaffe.
New City has the same approach with architects as well. “Not every architect is right for every client,” says Yaffe. “We have to manage that match carefully. Some people come in and it’s very nuts and bolts, and we just need a floor plan and a permit. Other times, clients approach us looking for something more design-oriented. We have a network of resources to fulfill any need that a client has.”
New City has always provided clients with a professional, sophisticated approach. This is an aspect of the company that Yaffe takes great pride in. “I feel that we present a customer service experience which is not often present in the industry, especially in custom residential construction,” says Yaffe. “We have built a company that is process-oriented and has a great professional staff. We’ve created something that has intrinsic value.”
Moving forward, New City is extremely focused. “We plan to grow this business by getting better and better at what we do,” says Yaffe. With skill and experience in several specific niches of the construction and development industry, the company will continue to offer clients expertise and guidance from concept through completion of its projects.
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