Whitney East Inc.
One of the biggest complaints that businesses and homeowners may have is that when a building project is underway there is difficulty reaching the general contractor to get an actual status update on the construction progress. Joe Condidorio, owner and president of Whitney East Inc. (WEI), is extremely proud of the fact that he has deliberately kept his commercial and residential general construction and construction management company small, so that each one of his clients receives the personal attention that they deserve.
Condidorio co-founded the Rochester, N.Y.-based company in 1986 with a business partner he later bought out, and Condidorio says that the company’s niche is being a true general contractor able to successfully complete any medium to large project on time and within budget. This is done through an understanding that scheduling is critical, all trades must be comprehensively trained and coordinated, and effective communication is imperative to avoid wasting time and materials.
WEI offers its clients the full range of general contracting services, including preconstruction, project management, historical renovations, plus commercial, residential and light industrial new construction. Establishing an excellent rapport with architects and clients, acting as a liaison between customers and subcontractors, and motivating its work force to achieve the best possible results, WEI has had the opportunity to apply its skills in expert coordination to a variety of showcase projects. “In the past couple of years, we’ve worked on projects as diverse as two wastewater plants, a historical renovation and a water park,” reveals Condidorio.
WEI employs nine and Condidorio estimates that the company annually grosses over $5 million in sales. WEI’s crew of comprehensively trained, highly motivated employees can typically be found on projects within a 150-mile radius of the company’s corporate headquarters, and the company’s high-quality work has attracted the notice of his peers in recent years. In 2008 WEI was awarded a Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and an award in 2007 for the Best New Retail Construction for the Bank of Castile Greece branch office building from the Greece Chamber of Commerce.
The company received a large amount of local press in 2009 for its work on the Ann’s House Dorm at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., where WEI applied its ability to analyze complex projects to achieve optimized results. The dorm was intended to achieve at least a LEED Silver certification, and the campus officials were extremely pleased when the dorm ultimately received a LEED Gold certification, as well as an AIA 2011 Citation Award.
Condidorio admits that the ground-up project posed a bit of a challenge to WEI’s crew. “The dormitory is located on a hill and required an extensive site package, on a slope, full of trees,” reveals Condidorio. However, this did not impact WEI’s adherence to assessing the needs of the projects, identifying and mobilizing the necessary resources, establishing priorities and goals, and, finally, closely monitoring schedules and costs.
The 15,000-square foot dormitory has a number of green features, including energy-efficient LED and fluorescent fixtures that light the 48 student bedrooms, hallways, lounges and stair towers, LED televisions, high-efficiency boilers and instant hot water heaters, natural stone and cement composite siding and low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials used for flooring, paints and building materials. The building is equipped with solar panels to provide approximately eight percent of the electrical demand during daylight hours.
Dr. Charles M. Edmondson, Alfred University’s president, was quoted as saying the following in regards to the project: “[Ann’s House] will help Alfred University significantly save on energy and maintenance costs. The widespread use of LED lighting around our campus is certainly something we’re looking at as we continue to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint.”
WEI Demonstrates Versatility
WEI just recently completed a project that reinforces the company’s reputation for its ability to complete a wide range of projects. The company built the region’s first indoor water park for the Clarion Hotel in Batavia, N.Y. The $2 million, 12,000-square foot park features two water slides about 200 feet long each, with one even featuring multi-colored LED lights. A basketball hoop, areas to lounge with shallow areas for young kids, and an arcade room and areas for birthday parties were also included to round out the park’s appeal to area families.
Chan Patel, the building’s owner, was quoted as saying that when it’s zero degrees outside it will always be 85 degrees inside, making it perfect for people in the Rochester/Buffalo area. “In this economy people cannot afford to take a big vacation, so this is like a staycation for them. It’s like a smaller vacation, where they’re not spending too much money, but can enjoy the Palm Island Resort,” Patel has said. WEI’s hands-on approach, its day-to-day participation, and its strengths in realistic estimating and thorough administration and communication successfully contributed another project that strengthens the community as a whole, a tradition that will be furthered by the efforts of Condidorio’s one son, who is active in the company.
In today’s hurried world we’re used to dealing with automated voice systems, large faceless corporations and impersonal encounters. The Condidorios and the extended family of Whitney East Inc. are thriving in part because of the quality of their award-winning work, but also because their clients know that they are dealing with a company that truly cares about their project and will give it the personal attention that it deserves.
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