RSC Group LLC

RSC picPrincipal Brett Steinberg grew RSC Group into a major masonry firm in New York City.
By Alan Dorich

After only seven years in the construction industry, Brett Steinberg has accomplished more than some people do in their entire careers. At the young age of 25, the principal of RSC Group LLC says he owes it all to his philosophy of being persistent.

“When you enter this industry, you’re opening a door for what can be a great, lengthy career,” he says, noting that those entering the business will get back what they put into it. “It will be fruitful and prosperous, but it will also be stressful and tiresome some days.”

Based in Elizabeth, N.J., RSC Group is a full-service exterior construction company that provides masonry and roofing services in New York and New Jersey. Today, Steinberg is a partner in the firm, but he earned this status through years of hard work and dedication.

“I started in the industry in 2010,” he recalls, explaining that he began his career at MDB Development, an exterior restoration company in Manhattan. Steinberg took the job to support his family after the death of his father. “I had many opportunities to go to college, but realized that having an income to help provide a future for my family was much more important.

“I grew up with a successful father, and when he died, everything got taken from us,” he recalls. “I went from having everything to losing it all.”

But the tragedy emboldened his work ethic. “I always tried to be the best at everything I did,” he says. “I wanted to be the best, no matter how much it took.”

Valuable Lessons

During his time at the Manhattan firm, Steinberg became very close with his boss and the firm’s owner, Michael DeBellas, who became his mentor and taught him two of the most valuable lessons Steinberg has come to know. “The first thing is that persistence takes [priority] over knowledge,” Steinberg says.

When he entered the industry at the age of 17, Steinberg was still green on industry basics. But that did not stop him from growing his knowledge. “If you don’t know it, chase it so you know everything about it,” he advises. RSC Group

“Within a year, because I was the first one up and in the office, and the last one to leave, I was able to teach myself everything I know,” he recalls. “I always wanted to make sure the next time I went into a room that I was the smartest guy.”

DeBellas also taught Steinberg the importance of perception and making a good impression. “The way someone perceives you for the first time they meet you is how they perceive you for your entire career,” Steinberg says.

On the Rise

Steinberg joined RSC at the age of 20, when the company was still known as Rising Sun Construction. At the time, the firm focused on public sector roofing projects and only took a few jobs a year.

But Steinberg sought to make it a major firm, which began with improving its marketing program. This included changing its logo and creating company brochures. “We also didn’t have many references for masonry work,” he recalls, adding that he took a few months to generate references.

Steinberg also focused on bidding jobs. He won Rising Sun its first masonry project on a small-scale, even-story brick building in Hoboken, N.J.

Although the company learned many lessons on the project, “That job allowed everything to take off from there,” he says, noting that it allowed the company to win a 13-story project in Brooklyn, N.Y., for TG Nickel & Associates.

Rising Sun’s work won the company attention even before it had completed the project. “In the middle of the job, people started asking who the mason was; we were the new guy in town and were able to start making some noise,” Steinberg recalls.

At the Top

With partners Mark, Greg and Frank, Steinberg realized his vision of converting Rising Sun into RSC, an elite subcontractor for large clients in the greater New York area. Mark and Greg provided the financing/back office management, and Frank provided more than 30 years of hands-on industry expertise.

“It all came together,” Steinberg says, adding that the company completes up to 20 projects a year. “We’ve built this from nothing. We went from doing couple-thousand-dollar jobs to multimillion-dollar projects.”

RSC Group also works for some of the largest names in the industry. In addition to TG Nickel, they include JDS Development Group, L+M Development Partners Inc./L+M Builders Group, New Line Structures, Hudson Meridian Construction Group, Monadnock Construction Inc., Real Builders, Pizzarotti, Danya Cebus, Adam America and Lemle & Wolff Cos.

It also has earned a reputation for its performance, production output, safety and top-quality products. “At any given time, RSC Group has up to 10 large-scale projects going on that it is able to manage with its experienced project management team and fully trained field personnel,” Steinberg says.

“We feel as if we are definitely amongst the top masonry firms in the greater NYC market, if not No. 1,” he says, adding that the company is careful when choosing the jobs it takes on.

“We hand-pick the right ones, we don’t want to do the most work or the biggest work. We want to do the right work, and never sacrifice our reputation.” he says. The company is currently looking at several affordable housing projects in The Bronx, N.Y., as opposed to high-rises.

Block-and-plank structures which are typically done on affordable housing units allow RSC Group to have more control over the project than high-rises, Steinberg says. “When we control the structure, we produce very quickly. When we are chasing the concrete superstructure subcontractor, it’s a fun race to the top, but we don’t control the overall output,” he says.

Steinberg’s responsibilities have only increased since he became a partner in RSC. “I’m very heavily involved in every single project,” he says, adding that he is copied on all email communications that go in and out of RSC Group’s offices.

He also is the last one to leave the office every day, but that does not mean work ends for him there. “When you’re not on the job site, you’d better be picking up your phone or answering emails,” Steinberg advises. “In construction, you’re working 24-seven, even though some don’t realize this.”

Builders, he explains, have to accept the whole responsibility of their clients’ projects. “You’re taking something from a hole in the ground, bringing it to the top and building somebody’s home,” he says.

Limitless Opportunities

Steinberg sees many initiatives ahead for RSC Group. “We’re going to make sure we’re keeping up with the latest technology, regulations and safety training mandates,” he says, adding that it will provide its employees with continued proper training to adapt as things change.

“We train our guys to keep them happy and make sure that they’re producing,” he says. “The happier the guys are, the more they produce.”

The company also expects to stay busy. “It’s 2017 and we are looking at several projects for 2019 start dates,” he says. “The bids continue to come in and the projects continue to be of size.”

Many opportunities are open for Steinberg. “I feel as if I am the youngest person in New York doing this right now,” he says. “The sky’s the limit, we will continue to grow and remain humble while providing the best finished product there is.”

Steinberg adds that his expertise will help take RSC to any level of competition. “We’ll make sure we’re amongst the top challengers,” he says.

 

Noted for Quality

RSC Group LLC’s project portfolio includes 613 Baltic Street, an 11-story building Brooklyn, N.Y., for JDS Development Group. “[They are] one of the biggest developers in New York,” RSC Principal Brett Steinberg says.

The company completed all of the exterior and interior concrete masonry unit (CMU) work for the building, along with building envelope waterproofing and the installation of 250,000 pieces of brick. “We used a Roman-sized brick,” he recalls. “That building has really become noted for its ‘well built’ quality.”

He also highlights the Watermark at Court Square, a 27-story building in Long Island, N.Y. RSC again completed CMU, waterproofing and brick work, along with the installation of an exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS). “It was the first time in New York that the DryVit OPMD EIFS system was used with seven-and-a-half inches of EPS foam behind it,” he recalls.

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