Bravo Builders

Bravo BuildersBravo Builders’ knowledge and hands-on approach made it a leader.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

Industry veteran Robert Palumbo seized the opportunity to launch Bravo Builders in 2014 when the residential construction market was flourishing because of increased demand for housing and an improved economy. Under the leadership of industry professionals who bring decades of residential construction experience, the New York City-based construction management company has enjoyed steady growth ever since. 

Bravo Builders offers a full range of construction services for a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive approach to construction. The 60-person team is equipped to handle projects of a variety of sizes through expert planning and management, delivered through its value-engineering approach. bravo builders info box 3

“We are a smaller company in terms of size on purpose so we can keep things hands-on with our clients,” Palumbo says. “I am really involved with the projects and on site daily. We didn’t want to create a big machine that needed to be fed but be more intimately involved with the projects and our clients are able to feel that.” 

Bravo Builders believes that hands-on approach is what differentiates it among the competition. Palumbo has more than 22 years of experience in the construction industry, working principally in New York City. His experience in all aspects of pre-construction planning gives Palumbo a superior vantage point from which to help develop innovative strategies to manage project budgets and processes.

Over the past couple decades, Palumbo has developed many tools and processes for the successful management of complex construction projects, which include new construction and major renovations, that he utilizes at Bravo Builders today to ensure client satisfaction.

203 Jay Street

Bravo Builders finalized the construction of The Amberly, a mixed-use development at 203 Jay Street in Brooklyn, N.Y., this fall. The 320,000-square-foot project consists of a 33-story residential tower with an eight-story office building attached. 

The Amberly features 270 rental units ranging from studios to three bedrooms that offer the best possible view of the Manhattan skyline. Tenants have access to retail, commercial and below-grade parking areas, as well as a dedicated drop-off area with dedicated access to the lobby. Designed by Australia-based Woods Bagot, The Amberly is the architecture firm’s first North American tower. “On the exterior, the patterned façade maintains occupants’ privacy from neighboring buildings and pedestrians,” the firm says. “While living and dining areas have floor-to-ceiling windows, the bedrooms and bathrooms are covered up.” 

The exterior of the building features terracotta panels that alternate with blue-colored glass. Building amenity spaces are highlighted with floor-to-ceiling glass facades, visible at the ground, ninth and 33rd floors. “To achieve the architect’s design, we used a bypass system window wall to give the building a look of a curtain wall, but with the ease of installation and the budget of a window wall,” Palumbo explains. “It’s the first time we used it and it was very successful. We are very happy with the result and are hoping to use it on upcoming jobs.”

The Amberly also features a public plaza on the south side of the building designed by New York-based SCAPE Landscape Architecture that creates a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly street with new community amenities. A mix of dark and light gray pavers animate the plaza. The dark pavers draw pedestrians into the plaza and guide them to the building entrances, SCAPE describes.

Ample seating among staggered street trees are available in the public plaza. Large river stones are dispersed throughout a hardscape “streambed” of blue and white blasted glass pavers that define the continuous art corridor as it runs through the plaza along Concord Street. “The Jay Street plaza is an engaging year-round community amenity and a vital neighborhood asset for downtown Brooklyn,” SCAPE says. 

The construction of the public plaza resulted in logistical challenges for Bravo Builders while it was finishing work on the exterior of the building. “We definitely learned a few things here in regards to better anticipating some logistical challenges,” Palumbo says. “We created temporary walkways and overhead protection to exit the building through the retail space.”

Cornering the Condo Market

In 2014, Bravo Builders started construction on 20 East End Avenue, a 17-story luxury condominium building in New York City designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, who is known for designing 15 Central Park West. 

“Both myself and three other people on Bravo Builders’ staff worked on 15 Central Park West,” Palumbo says. “We had experience with Stern’s designs and appreciation for what’s involved to build that type of project.”

The 160,000-square-foot building features a unique motor court off 80th Street where tenants can get dropped off right at the door. Each of the 43 apartments in 20 East End Avenue is unique, so there were many mechanical offsets and no economy of scale. 

There is very little repetition and each floor plate is unique. Every apartment was like starting from scratch and nothing is stacked, which Bravo Builders says makes it challenging.

Bravo Builders’ work on 20 East End Avenue secured its bid last year to construct 40 East End Avenue, an 18-story luxury condominium project. “The original design of the façade was to be a traditional masonry wall with brick,” Palumbo says. “We came onboard in pre-construction and worked with the building ownership to change the design to a precast building.”

After the brick and windows were manufactured, it was shipped to a precast facility in Canada where the materials would be set into the panels and shipped for erection by Bravo Builders. 

“We have used precast panels on projects in the past and have good relationships with the larger precast companies, so we were able to engage them early on to assist with the design,” Palumbo says. “We were able to save time in the construction schedule and cut down the overall construction time.” Construction is expected to be completed on 40 East End Avenue in the spring. 

 

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