Lasberg Construction Associates Inc.

Lasberg Construction Associates Inc. boasts a client base that runs the gamut from luxury country club owners to non-profit agencies that provide shelter for those in need. No matter the customer, though, Lasberg Construction’s vast experience and capabilities are best utilized by clients who understand the value of personalized attention their projects receive from a smaller contractor.

“The benefit for us is when we have a client that values the service we provide,” founder and President Lee Lasberg says. “If we have a client that recognizes the benefits of delivering a project on time with minimal or no punch list issues, that’s where we benefit.”

Based in Armonk, N.Y., Lasberg Construction Associates traces its origins to 1932, when the company was founded as M. Lasberg Inc. by Max Lasberg. After a period of inactivity, Lasberg reopened the firm as Lasberg Con­struction Associates in 1988 under the third generation of Lasberg family ownership.

Today, the company is a full-service general contractor that delivers ground-up and renovation projects for the multifamily residential and commercial sectors. Lasberg Construction Associates covers a geographic market that spans from New York City, throughout the Hudson Valley and southern Connecticut. The company boasts vast experience for a variety of clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations.

Along with these services, the company also performs work corporate renovation and relocations. “Lasberg Construction Associates ability to expedite interior projects is based on our level of commitment to meeting project completion dates,” the company states.

Beating the Competition

Although Lasberg admits that competition has become fierce since the onset of the national recession, his company has plenty of advantages that make it the best of the bunch. First and foremost is Lasberg Construction Associ­ates’ financial stability and bonding capacity.

The company’s reputation and excellent pay history allow it to pick and choose from the top subcontractors in a given area where it is performing work. Lasberg says this sometimes will make his company’s bids more expensive than other bidders in the field, but owners recognize the importance of working with the top firms in construction.

“There’s been a bit of a shakeout occurring where firms that used bottom-of-the-barrel subs are having difficulty now,” Lasberg says. “A big key to success in our business is being able to afford to use the right team of subcontractors. There’s certainly plenty of opportunity to bid too low and use a sub that can’t afford to properly complete the work.”

Maintaining a relationship with the best subcontractors available requires work by the prime contractors and the subs themselves, according to Lasberg. Although the company primarily works with subcontractors it has hired in the past, each subcontractor undergoes a rigorous background check and is expected to meet Lasberg Construction Associates’ strict standards.

“We’re extremely careful about who we do business with, and we make sure they operate with the same philosophy that we do,” Lasberg says. “We have extensive scoping sessions with our subs and we are very clear about what our expectations are on the project. We want to make sure they have the proper equipment, manpower, insurance limits and track record to ensure delivery.”

Lasberg also believes in reinvesting in the company when new technology is readily available. For instance, in the past year, Lasberg Construction Associates has implemented On Screen take off software along with Primavera’s construction management software to better plan for its projects.

“It’s important to stay current and offer our clients the type of services they expect,” he says. “Ultimately, this helps us be more effective when delivering a project. It’s part of our continual desire to be better, to improve and to offer our clients the highest level of service that we can.”

Second Chances

Building luxury multifamily residential structures and financial institutions in Manhattan is gratifying, but Lasberg says his company pours just as much personal attention into projects for nonprofit causes. One example is the YWCA facility in White Plains, N.Y., a 200 unit single-room occupancy structure in need of a gut renovation. “What’s different is that this project has a real social component and has the ability to really help people who need it as opposed to building a country club or a market-rate housing project,” Lasberg says. “This is of social significance and can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Lasberg Construction Associates is the general contractor for the two-phase project, which broke ground at the start of 2010 and will be completed in the fall of 2011. The project will be done in two phases, which will allow residents to live in one wing while work is under way on the other. The scope for both wings – which combine for 89,000 square feet – includes new exterior skins, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, revised floor plans and new elevators for $16 million.

Since the last renovation took place in the early 1970s, Lasberg says construction crews discovered an unusually large amount of asbestos within the structures. This required the full remediation of the materials from the building, which set the project a bit behind schedule while adding to the budget. He adds, however, that it did not “derail” the project, and the schedule is back on pace.

The most difficult challenge within this project, however, is maintaining that pace on an aggressive schedule. Although that is the case for most projects, Lasberg says on-time delivery of the YWCA is even more critical because a number of future residents will have nowhere to go if there are any delays.

“This is exactly what people are referring to when they refer to a ‘safety net,’” he says. “This is a last resort for people when they have no place else to go. We have a very firm completion date for this project because an awful lot of people are counting on this to relocate and move.”

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