Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NYC Firms Sky-High Growth During Building Boom

New York City’s building industry is thriving and construction employment in the city is at its highest level in over 40 years. NYC construction employment is expected to be 147,000 in 2016, which would be a 6.4% increase from 2015.

And business for the largest construction firms is booming, with builders generating revenue that was 14.3% higher in 2015 than the year before.

The biggest gainer was Gilbane Building Co., which nearly tripled its New York City revenue.

The firm’s New York division is now its fastest-growing area, and it attributes this windfall to its entry into New York’s prospering residential and commercial sectors.

“We’ve been in New York for a while, but primarily our work has been on the institutional side, with New York-Presbyterian, New York State and City University of New York being big clients,” said William J. Gilbane III, senior vice president at Gilbane’s New York division.

“Very large recent projects like the New York Wheel on Staten Island, 55 Hudson Yards and the Brooklyn Navy Yard have added to our revenue.”

Gilbane’s New York business still pales in comparison with other firms on the list, like Tutor Perini Corp. at no. 1, Tishman Construction at no. 2 and Turner Construction Co. at no. 3, whose revenues each topped $2.5 billion in 2015.

One advantage that Gilbane believes it has is its structure—the firm has been family-owned and -operated for 143 years. William J. Gilbane III’s uncle is chairman and his father is vice chairman.

“It’s pretty unique for a firm of our size to still be family owned,” Gilbane said. “Our clients really like to deal with owners, and people know they can get a hold of me, my father or my uncle. That family culture drives its way right through the job site, and it’s the foundation of our success.”

Firms with the biggest increases in NYC revenue 

2015 Change
Gilbane Building Co.
Tutor Perini Corp.
Hunter Roberts Construction Group
Schimenti Construction Co.
Monadnock Construction Inc.

Sources: New York Building Congress, New York State Department of Labor, Crain's New York Business

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