Ingerman

Ingerman picIngerman applies its experience building affordable housing for its own development arm to third-party and market-rate projects.
By Jim Harris

For most of its nearly 30-year history, Ingerman’s construction arm has worked exclusively on projects owned, developed and managed by the company’s other divisions. This experience prepared it to recently branch out its services to outside clients.

“We place a lot of emphasis on making sure we deliver the best finished product and put our owners first,” says Joe DiSalvo, director of field operations for the Collingswood, N.J.-based company. “We’re now applying the skills we’ve acquired building for ourselves to third-party projects, which has been a breath of fresh air for us.”

Ingerman is a developer, builder and manager of affordable housing and market-rate residential properties throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Since its inception in 1988, the company has developed more than 95 communities comprised of more than 7,000 residential units.

Building its own properties has given the company a unique perspective when it comes to building client relationships. “We feel that we are an owner’s representative, even when we’re acting as a third-party contractor,” DiSalvo says. “We apply this perspective to any job we do, and feel that every decision we make is in the best interest of the owner, whether they are internal or external.”

The company’s experience also gives it an advantage when it comes to scheduling its projects. “When you’re delivering a project to yourself, predictable delivery is very important,” he adds. “We work hand-in-hand with our property management group to predict their needs so they can hit the ground running. We keep the same focus with external clients.”

Growth Strategy

For Ingerman, taking on third-party projects is part of an overall growth strategy. “This is a big year for us in terms of the number of units we’re building and the projects we’re starting,” DiSalvo says, noting the company recently added eight new employees and has an additional two new staff members starting in February. “We’re focused on our structure and make sure the new people we’re bringing in are getting trained on our systems.” Ingerman box

The company two years ago started using Procore document management software. The system allows everyone involved in the company’s projects – from superintendents and other field personnel to clients and lenders – to access important project documents in an online cloud environment.

Ingerman also recently streamlined its procurement process by negotiating contracts with several of its key suppliers and vendors. These suppliers include Schlage, Progress Lighting and Sherwin-Williams Paints. “We have gone out and worked with vendors to upgrade the products we’re installing and get them at the best possible pricing and it’s really worked out well,” DiSalvo says. “Standardizing our products has helped our procurement run smoothly.”

The company relies heavily on subcontractors to complete its projects. “We have a mix of guys who have been working with us for the past 10 to 15 years as well as really good new companies that came on board in the last few years,” he adds.

Ongoing Projects

The company grew its project base three years ago when it completed one of its first market-rate housing projects, an apartment complex located on the upper floors of a five-story building in Collingswood. The company’s offices are located on the building’s first floor.

One of Ingerman’s ongoing projects includes both a market rate and an affordable housing component. The company last year began work on Glassworks/The Forge, a development located on the former site of the Anchor Glass factory in Aberdeen, N.J.

Demolition work on the former 1-million-square-foot factory site is nearing completion. Work included removing a water tower, concrete batch houses and other structures.

The site will house both Glassworks, a five-building, 100-apartment affordable housing complex, and The Forge, a 178-unit market rate apartment and townhome project. Four of the five Glassworks buildings and six of 16 of the Forge buildings are now under construction. The affordable housing component is slated for completion in August; the market-rate units will be completed this December.

The Glassworks/Forge project is one of four projects the company now has under construction. Work began in April 2016 on Symphony Hall, a mid-rise, four-story, 60-unit affordable housing building in Newark, N.J. The site includes uncompacted historical fill; as a result, the company used rammed aggregate piers to support the building’s footings, foundation and slabs. The building is slated for completion in May.

Work began last May on Flemington Junction, a eight-building affordable housing development featuring 84 apartments with a stand-alone community building, located on an 11-acre property in Raritan, N.J. The property will be completed in May. Dalina Manor, a senior affordable housing project in Woodbridge, N.J., located on the site of a former VFW hall, started construction in June and will be completed in July.

In February, the company will break ground on a six-story market rate apartment building in Bayonne, N.J. The two-story concrete podium building includes two levels of underground parking. The project will break ground in February and be completed in the Spring of 2018. 

Ingerman’s future project pipeline includes 12 projects in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. In total, the company expects to build nearly 1,300 units in the next two years, DiSalvo adds.

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