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Leading from the Front

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The New York skyline is an iconic panorama; a symbol of the city’s rich history, diversity, architectural innovation, and resilience. Remarkable for its towering skyscrapers, NYC is built on a foundation of resourcefulness and concrete. With these same qualities, Defalco Construction has cemented its reputation as one of the city’s preeminent excavation, cast-in-place concrete foundation, and superstructure contractors. Founded in 2016 by Michael Falco, the company has seen fast and tremendous growth in one of the world’s most demanding markets.

With 20 years previous experience in the concrete and superstructure space, Falco had a vision: to bring together an indomitable leadership team and mobilize a workforce of the industry’s most skilled laborers to excavate what could be possible in the concrete landscape. Because Defalco has built a strong management roster and a sizable and flexible on-site team (350-400 personnel at any given time), and because it owns all the equipment necessary to complete large-scale projects, the organization boasts exceptional adaptability with no downtime. “I would say our strength and our main differentiator from our competitors is our efficiency and our agility,” says Eran Elad, Executive Director at Defalco Construction. “We are able to leverage our workforce and the extensive experience of our management team to maintain tight schedules, move our people around, and utilize our own equipment to complete projects on short schedule. That is what makes us better.” Defalco’s impressive rise can be easily attributed to its capacity to deliver results on budget and ahead of schedule, but perhaps more importantly to cultivate meaningful relationships at every level of its operations. How does Defalco cultivate and sustain the relationships that are critical to its continued success?

buildings under construction defalco project

“I think part of the answer to that question is that we are committed to really understanding the vision and the goals of our clients by connecting with the various stakeholders on a project. We do that by building relationships with owners and developers. We align with clients that have the same work values as us, as opposed to being a concrete superstructure company that just bids jobs and does projects for anybody,” says Jose Garcia, Project Executive at Defalco. “Our commitment to our owner and developer partners means we have a core group of clients who continue to come back to us for projects. We have worked steadily for them for years and they count on us.”

“Our relationships go beyond any one job,” adds Matthew Abruzzi, Director of Projects. “We are a relationship-based firm. It’s a long-term relationship and that’s why we call them our partners because of how deep our relationship goes.” Defalco’s partnerships are built on a solid foundation of reliability, confidence, customer service, and results.

“It comes down to trust and professionalism”, says Abruzzi. “When we are retained by one of our clients, they don’t have to worry about our scope and ability to deliver,” says Abruzzi. Defalco Construction promises safe worksites, a commitment to exceed expectations on budget and timelines, 24/7 back-office support, and a direct line to Defalco’s executive team. These pillars uphold Defalco’s commitment to an elevated customer experience.

Equally important to the relationships it nurtures in the Tri-State construction space are the relationships fostered within the team. Many members at Defalco have been working with Michael Falco since before he launched Defalco. Unlike many of its industry counterparts, Defalco makes it a practice to retain employees during project downtimes. It is also able to maintain productivity and employment levels by moving staff between different worksites. This practice serves to inspire loyalty and hard work and galvanize a workplace culture where all members of the Defalco team take care of each other. Everyone works hard for the company because everyone reaps the rewards. “Michael wants to take care of the staff that have helped him build this company. He believes in treating everyone fairly and going above and beyond to build a family culture at Defalco,” says Abruzzi. Because the staff is invested in the success of each project and inspired to work hard and deliver exceptional results, the customer experience benefits. “Mike truly does care about his customers and his relationships and that trickles down into all of us where we prioritize our relationship and our customer satisfaction above everything,” says Abruzzi.

This success has also been recognized by industry peers. Recently, Defalco received two Corbetta Awards from the American Concrete Institute. These awards celebrate innovative design and construction utilizing concrete in the New York metropolitan area. Defalco received awards of merit in the Low-Rise and Low Carbon Concrete classes for its work on the 2461 Broadway and Domino Square Non-Potable Water Facility projects.

domino sugar refinery brooklyn new york project

This commitment to excellence at every level of the organization is exactly why Defalco Construction has earned the reputation of a company able to get the job done. When Two Trees, a Brooklyn-based, family-owned real estate development firm experienced performance concerns with another concrete contractor on a complex and critical restoration development, it needed a solution. Two Trees reached out to Defalco upon hearing about its dependability from mutual associates. The Domino Sugar Refinery Project is a multiple-site centered on the preservation of the original factory. Because the building was landmark-preserved, Two Trees planned to protect the original 1800s facade while essentially gutting the interior and building an entirely new space that would perform to the expectations of today’s 21st-century operations. After receiving the call Michael Falco was able to quickly mobilize a full crew and complete the work ahead of schedule. Defalco was commissioned to install concrete cores throughout the building to strengthen the structure and concrete slabs to support the facade. Defalco’s performance on the initial contract cemented its standing and created the opportunity to continue working with Two Trees on the project site. On Site C Defalco installed the foundation of the water treatment plant and the architectural concrete for the park. On Site D, Defalco did the concrete for a 56-story tower and a 43-story tower as development of the Williamsburg area continues.

“As it changes the New York skyline, Defalco also strives to transform the communities where it works.”

This project was fundamental as Defalco continues to gain repute in the tri-cities construction space. “The Domino Sugar Refinery Project really highlighted our expertise, knowledge, and manpower. We got to do renovation work. We got to do foundation work. We got to do superstructure work. We did architectural concrete. It is a real showcase for Defalco and that gives us the opportunity to take things to the next level,” says Abruzzi. 

This project has notable significance for the city as well. As part of the bigger vision to redevelop Williamsburg into a destination for living, playing, and working, it is a remarkable project that revitalizes the infrastructure, the streets, and transforms Williamsburg into a great place to be. “This project is important for Williamsburg because they are not just building a building or a neighborhood. This project is building a real community and a great vibe. You can see it in the people in the streets. It’s everywhere,” says Elad.

As it changes the New York skyline, Defalco also strives to transform the communities where it works. It prioritizes supporting and giving back to the people and the places that make its growth and success possible. “Outreach with Humility” is the motto as Defalco commits to local hiring and supporting children and community initiatives as much as possible. “We hold community events, we support local kids’ sports teams, we do turkey drives at Thanksgiving, and we feed our communities. We prioritize causes to uplift families to strengthen the communities we occupy. We even take requests for special cases. We just want to remember to be humble and serve our neighbors,” says Garcia.

The future of Defalco is bright as it continues to build structures, esteem, and connections in the New York concrete construction landscape. “We will continue to form new relationships and connect with new clients. We will keep our momentum, and we would like to get even better and stronger,” says Elad. “Three years ago, we set a new pathway with our current leadership team of me, Mike, Jose, and Matt. We are all guys with vision, patience, and ambition and we are ready to continue to grow with Defalco.”

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