Red Hook Construction Group

Grady Humphrey approaches the commercial construction industry with confidence, knowing that he can be selective about the projects he accepts. “Part of being a diversified company is I don’t have to take every job,” says Humphrey, vice president of Red Hook Construction Group.

The Bay Shore, N.Y.-based firm can do it all, says Humphrey, who operates the company along with President Sal Carucci. “We perform multiple trades,” Humphrey says. “We perform projects from start to finish.”

And there’s little question that Red Hook Construction Group  is hard at work, taking on numerous projects throughout New York City including hotels, apartment and condominium complexes and self-storage facilities. 

A strong desire to stay ahead of the game and maintain a competitive advantage is the primary reason the company performs the vast majority of its work in New York City. “We can arrive at any project site within 10, 20 or 30 minutes,” Humphrey explains.  He relies on his project management team for day-to-day oversight of the work, but  makes sure to  visit all the jobs routinely to ensure that  everything is  going smoothly, he says. 

But the company has other reasons for performing most of its work close to home.  Simply put, there is little need for the company to venture outside the New York City area for work because there are a sufficient projects in the Big Apple – a luxury many other companies do not enjoy, Humphrey notes. “We’re an urban contractor that works primarily in the boroughs of New York,” he says.

Carucci founded Red Hook Construction in 1999, more than a decade after he had entered the construction business and started several other companies. “Red Hook Construction was opened as a general contractor,” Humphrey says. Carucci ultimately folded his other companies, and Red Hook took on its current form.  Humphrey joined Carucci as a project manager in 1999 and became a partner in 2012. “We pretty much hit the ground running,” he says.

No Single Specialty

Red Hook Construction is involved in practically all phases of a construction project. For instance, the company participates in foundation and excavation, site work, sheeting and underpinning, superstructure work, storage tank removal, asbestos removal, waterproofing, sewer and water connection installation and storm drainage work, Humphrey says. There are advantages  to this approach, he says.

“We self-perform the work,” Humphrey says. “We provide all the work and build the actual structure.” The business model differs from that employed by most general contractors, who oversee jobs but rely on numerous subcontractors to perform various phases of the work.

Red Hook Construction has approximately 500 employees, including many workers skilled in all phases of the projects the company  performs, Humphrey says. “The challenge is organization,” he says, adding that workers must continually move from one jobsite to the next as they finish their segment of the work. 

Red Hook Construction’s business model is extremely uncommon in the industry but it offers numerous benefits including the efficient oversight of a project, Humphrey says. “You don’t have to manage five or six trades,” he says. Additionally, the client is less likely to encounter price markups when dealing with a single company.

“There’s not 100 guys who do what I do,” Humphrey  notes. “I’m able to walk in and control much of the work. The customer doesn’t need to rely on five or six different trades. We typically represent 30 to 40 percent of a contract. The first six months of a job, I’m the only guy out there.” Subcontractors usually come on the scene later in the project to perform finish work, which is one aspect of the work that Red Hook Construction does not do, Humphrey  says.

Busy in NYC

Red Hook Construction is one of the largest construction companies in New York City and performs nearly all of its work in the city. Recent projects included a redesign and upgrade of the Marriott Hotel on 34th Street in Manhattan, construction of the East Harlem Tower at 1800 Park Avenue and transformation of an electrical warehouse located in Queens into luxury loft apartments.

The 1800 Park Avenue project is a 696,900-square-foot, 32-story tower that features both commercial and residential spaces. The building’s 673 apartments are a mix of studios as well as one- and two-bedroom units. The building ‘s numerous amenities include a basketball court, fitness center, resident and business lounge and library, multipurpose room, party room and sky lounge. 

Meanwhile, the Eagle Electric Warehouse project will transform a six-story, 94-year-old warehouse into 780 luxury loft apartments.

Red Hook Construction also was involved with the cleanup and rebuild of the World Trade Center and reconstruction of the Vessey Street Bridge. 

Humphrey says his leadership team is largely responsible for the company’s success. “We developed a lot of the guy who are here,” he says. The company emphasizes safety as well as strict adherence to policies and procedures. “The guys are proud of what we do.” 

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