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Open Shop in NYC

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Hudson Meridian was founded in 2002 by its current owner, Bill Cote, after he accepted a contract with the city to manage the clean-up following 9/11. For Cote, the project meant taking a brave step forward, the company he was working with for a considerable length of time. While his ex-employers may have lost his services, the industry gained Hudson Meridian. According to Peter Monte, President and COO at Hudson Meridian, Cote “never looked back.” Evidently, it was a wise decision. Hudson Meridian is one of the largest open shop builders in New York City and has built a reputation as being a construction manager of the highest quality.

The company operates in the tri-state area. Building primarily for developers, the company works on a high number of residential construction projects. In addition to this, Hudson Meridian has also worked on schools, priding itself on being a “tech services group” made up of schedulers and estimators.

Monte himself joined the company in 2017 as Company President and Chief Operating Officer. Interestingly, his relationship with Cody was a longstanding one, with Monte being a client of the company in his previous role of property developer.

When it comes to the range of services that Hudson Meridian offers to the market, Monte explains that the company brings huge benefits to its clients by engaging at the earliest possible stage. “Hudson Meridian excels at the conceptual estimating. We look to get involved in projects early on in a pre-construction phase and help developers, or whatever client we’re working for, to shape their budget and time frame.”

The company doesn’t stop there, however. The team then manages the construction across several stages, all the while delivering industry leading quality and professionalism. More recently however, Cote has led an expansion, moving to incorporate a development arm which operates separate to Hudson Meridian. The company is currently completing a large residential project in New Haven, its first as a developer. Monte explains that this is expected to grow significantly in the future with Cote “actively looking at other developments and looking to move in that direction.”

“The company offers multiple in-house safety initiatives and training to its employees.”

With such huge success and continued growth, it is vital that Hudson Meridian ensures its workers and jobsites adhere to the highest safety standards. In an industry that is struggling to shake off a reputation for being inherently dangerous, it is no surprise to learn that safety is high on the agenda for the team at Hudson Meridian, with Walter Haass, SVP of Risk Management at Hudson Meridian explaining; “The health and safety of our employees and all those that our work affects is of paramount importance.” Haass goes on to explain that during his career with Hudson Meridian, he has participated in multiple councils, groups and trade presentations all geared towards a focus on safety in the industry. He found quite a few of them had framed their approach as ‘making safety a priority’ – though Haass says that doesn’t go far enough. “I have never liked that phrasing. Priorities can change and there are always competing interests and competing priorities.” As Haass explains, Hudson Meridian go much further in this regard. “My time with Hudson has been to continue the legacy that Bill established early on and to ensure that safety has the highest value at the business.” This value, he explains, drives every one of the company’s initiatives and is always part of its approach to providing services within the industry.

These words are not merely lip-service either. In an environment where companies can try to achieve the required minimum in terms of safety, Hudson Meridian is an outlier. The company offers multiple in-house safety initiatives and training to its employees with one initiative in particular proving very popular with staff. Hudson Meridian gives employees the opportunity to participate in a range of health and safety-related training presentations and, as Haass explains, the benefits it brings to the wellbeing of staff is enormous. “While we are a construction management services firm and utilize the contractors to perform the physical construction of the projects, we provide training across all trade disciplines to our employees. This enables them to be better prepared and to provide support to our trade contractors in the safe performance of their respective work.”

2401 3rd Avenue

For a company of Hudson Meridian’s size, an impressive portfolio of work is expected. However, within this, the company has had a number of standout projects that best showcase the quality of work being completed. One of these is 2401 3rd Avenue in the Bronx. This project is described by Monte as “a testament to the perseverance of our company”. Beginning right before the pandemic and for Monte, it is a source of immense pride. Although a contractor defaulted mid-way through, Hudson Meridian was able to step in and finish fabricating the windows and walls so the project could be completed. The project itself consists of three towers on a podium in Motthaven in The Bronx, and currently, two of the three towers are occupied, with the company just starting to move the third one. The property has on-site parking, 460 rental units and measures an impressive 480,000 gross square feet.

Costing around $190 million, the project is “taking a bit longer than we originally scheduled,” Monte explains. However, given the circumstances of its completion, it has been an impressive achievement. “In light of the pandemic we worked through, I think I’m safe to say the owner views the job as a success based on what we were up against.”

Another success was the 468 Columbus Avenue project – a boutique condominium consisting of seven full-floor apartments and two commercial condominium units. The property measures around 40,000 square feet and has a $34 million budget. Monte describes it as a “high-end condominium” that has “a lot of slab stone in bathrooms and kitchens” along with an “imported terracotta façade that came from Italy on the building.” What makes this project so impressive is that it has since passed the requirements to get Passive House certification. As Monte explains, this ensures the highest level of sustainability and energy performance. “It is a super high-performance façade with very little leakage. It was most definitely a unique project to build.”

Finally, the 3514 Surf Avenue project, located on the beach on Coney Island. Interestingly, Hudson Meridian began work on this project way back in 2017. Surf Avenue is the second project completed for the Red Apple Group and is located on the beach, backing up against the boardwalk facing the water. Measuring 565,000 gross square feet, the residential project has a significant podium and parking structure and is made up of 420 units. The project had a budget of $175 million and, being completed in just under 24 months, Monte explains that Hudson Meridian were required to work “under a very tight schedule.”

Hudson Meridian has a justified reputation for providing excellence in everything it takes on. Its continued success shows no sign of abating either. The company has recently opened offices outside the city, with its main office located in downtown New York City. In an example of the company’s continued growth, new offices have also been opened in Westchester, White Plains, and in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. While these moves have “allowed Hudson Meridian to expand” the geographical area in which it can serve clients, it is also further evidence of the increased demand for its services. Rising from its first project, post 9/11, the landscape was one of uncertainty. Over twenty years later, the outlook could not be more different. Hudson Meridian is at the forefront of its industry and serves as an example of what high standards and hard work can bring. You wouldn’t bet against it being around for another twenty years.

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