Building Up in New York City
SSC High Rise Construction
SSC High Rise Construction is a high rise construction company based in Pearl River, New York, targeting large scale projects in the New York City metropolitan area. Founded in 2011 by brothers Timmy and Michael Mahoney, the company has grown to employ more than 200 people.
The model from the beginning, according to Michael Mahoney, was to focus on one or two larger projects, in the million square foot range, at a time in order to concentrate on quality. After six years operating under this philosophy, the company has grown to generating 32 million dollars a year in revenue.
SSC uses European formwork systems, from a German company called Peri, in all of its projects. Formwork in the context of construction is the general term given to molds into which concrete is poured. In high-rise construction these molds are used to form the foundation of the building, and there are a number of criteria that good formwork should meet. It should be strong enough to support the concrete that it is forming without breaking; it should be rigid enough, both horizontally and vertically, so that it doesn’t deform; and it should have a tight seal at joints so that it doesn’t leak concrete.
SSC employs sophisticated formwork systems from European suppliers that provide components and scaffolding that assist in the process of making high-rise construction a far more efficient process. Safety, of course, is a very important factor in high-rise construction and is a primary concern for the company. Utilizing these state-of-the-art formwork systems assures a safer working environment for its workforce.
SSC is an “open shop.” This means that employees of the company are not required to join or pay into a union. According to SSC management, this affords the firm a unique position in the market. In the construction field, union workers are often seen as more expensive and less customer-oriented than non-union workers. Since the economic downturn in 2008, more open shop construction firms have made their way into the New York City building landscape. Union companies, who had always been the primary source for construction work in the region, have recently cut wages by an average of 20 percent and some have cut benefits, in order to compete. Open shop firms operate at roughly 30 percent less and just last year secured 55 percent of the construction jobs in the metropolitan area, up from 35 percent in 2014.
Open shop construction is exploding, but in the high rise market SSC is among just a few. There are only a handful of open shop high rise firms with the credibility of SSC, and even fewer with the capacity to deal with projects the size of the ones SSC is focused on.
Working on a superstructure is a delicate and complex endeavor. A large part of how SSC approaches the challenge is by working closely with project owners and their design and management teams throughout the planning process in order to fine tune the project and find an outline that works for everyone.
Alma Realty Corp, one of the largest developers in NYC, hired SSC to build a 20 story apartment complex on Long island in Queens. The building has 404 apartments and sits on the East River. It’s a 600,000 square foot super-structure with an 18.5 million dollar price tag, and the project was recently completed, adding one more beautiful building to SSC’s impressive portfolio, but impressive as a building like this is, it seems almost small when compared to the American Copper Buildings.
Beginning in mid-2014 on a 6.4 acre lot in Manhattan, the two extraordinary towers of the American Copper Buildings have etched out a place for SSC in the skyline. The two towers, rising 43 and 50 stories, are each bent in the middle, causing the buildings to lean away from and then back into each other. According to architect Richard Meier, they appear to be “dancing with each other.” They are connected together by a three story sky bridge 300 feet from the ground, and the entire structure is clad in copper. The entire project is 880,000 square feet, took 18 months to complete, and cost 48.5 million dollars.
These projects, among many others, have built SSC a reputation for quality work in a complex and competitive industry. The Mahoney brothers have worked tirelessly to build a business that is helping to build New York City. They’re highly successful at the work they do and that can literally be seen by looking at the New York City skyline.