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Molfetta Corp./Molfetta Concrete Co.

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The Molfetta companies strive to meet their clients’ project goals.

By Alan Dorich

When clients turn to Molfetta Corp. and Molfetta Concrete Co., they like to have them involved at the very beginning of their projects. This is true “even when they’re getting schematics and approvals, so we can be part of the design,” Partner Brian Mazzei says.

“A lot of times, we’re helping the architect choose the structural engineer,” he continues. “By the time the plans are done, we can really fast-track the project, instead of being handed a final, complete set of prints to go through it after the fact.”

Partner Michael Nirchio notes that the companies’ roots go back to 1973, when his father, Corrado Nirchio, co-founded Molfetta Concrete with Jack Sallustio as a concrete- and masonry-contracting firm.

While Nirchio had extensive experience with interior and exterior construction, Sallustio brought a masonry and concrete background to the partnership. Initially, “They did stoops, foundations and interior work,” the younger Nirchio recalls.

He later took the role of president in 1994 and completed work across Hudson County, N.J. In 2000, Nirchio expanded his father’s business by forming Molfetta Corp., a full-service, general contracting company.

“People always asked us, ‘Would you build a building for me?’” he recalls. “After the third building [we built], I decided to start a separate company, and that’s how we became Molfetta Corp.”

Mazzei joined the company five years later and helped Nirchio establish Molfetta Group as its real estate development company. The following year, Kevin Snell joined Molfetta Concrete, bringing his framing and on-site experience to the company. Today, the companies employ staffs totaling approximately 35, Nirchio says.

In addition, the firms have added more equipment over the years, allowing them to be self-sufficient. These acquisitions began with excavators and grew to include roll-off trucks, concrete pumps, mass climbers, a hoist/transform platform and a self-erecting crane.

He credits the companies’ success to his partnership with Mazzei. “I have many years of field experience, so I’m not one for the office,” he says. “Brian handles everything on the inside. We both have our niche, and I feel that makes us very successful.”

Mixed-Use Excellence

Molfetta Corp.’s work reflects its slogan of “building character and value,” Mazzei says. “When we complete a building for a client, we try to give them something of unique character and lasting value that has met their goals and vision.”

The company followed that philosophy on 1414 Grand Street, a seven-story, 46,000-square-foot structure with six retail and 24 living units in Hoboken, N.J. “It features a black and white façade with large 10-foot by 14-foot window openings,” he describes.

The project also aimed for LEED Gold certification with a geothermal heating and cooling system. “We also installed solar panels on the roof,” he says, noting that the $7.5 million project used reclaimed materials from the building that was demolished as furniture in a new restaurant.

“It’s pretty unique,” Mazzei says, noting that the building features a partially underground parking garage, a 6,000-square-foot retail space and two floors of offices. “It’s a true mixed-use building.”

The Molfetta companies have excelled in the mixed-use niche, he adds. With Molfetta Concrete as the labor force, “We control the foundation and the main structure,” Mazzei says. “We don’t have to depend on anybody else.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty coming out of the ground, and we don’t have to risk dealing with four or five other subcontractors,” he continues. “Our clients really like that about us.”

Prefab Perfection

Prefabricated systems are becoming more popular in Molfetta Corp.’s market, Mazzei notes. “These systems speed up the onsite construction schedule, ensure better-quality work and save money,” he explains.

“For the past several years, we have been self-performing prefab steel stud wall systems with long-span composite floors,” he continues. “We use this product in lieu of steel joist products because it provides a stiffer floor and has a higher finished ceiling height.”

The bar joist systems, he explains, have much deeper floor assemblies, which can result in the loss of headroom that renters and condo buyers look for. “The long span composite floor system can be done at the same price and, in most cases, lower than the joist systems, saving our clients money while providing them with a higher-quality structure in the end,” Mazzei says.

Contractor Caution

When Molfetta Corp. does employ subtrades, it prefers those that it has worked with previously. “Most of the guys we try to go from project to project with,” Mazzei says. “They’re known entities and we know what to expect.”

That does not mean the company does not seek out new partners. But when it does, it does so with caution, Mazzei says. “The market right now in New York City is really hot,” he says.

“Everyone is busy,” Mazzei continues. “You have to be careful of some of the new trades that you sign up. Half of them might work out, and the rest try to give you a skeleton crew to work with.”

On Its Own

Molfetta Corp. plans to stay active in general contracting, Mazzei says. “There’s a lot of risk in the business and that’s fine,” he says, noting that the company has started developing its own projects. “We know we can do the development side as well as the rest of these guys.

“It’s fun to put up a building for other folks,” he says, but asserts that the company wants to branch out. “That’s what we’re focused on – doing projects for ourselves.”

So far, Molfetta Corp. has developed only 20 percent of its projects. “Hopefully, [over time], that’ll grow to 60 percent,” he predicts.

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