Rising material costs, a never-ending labor shortage and inflation still have not conspired to keep New York and New England specialty firms from growing revenue.
Firms submitting data to this year’s ENR New York Top Specialty Contractor rankings—which includes 2022 figures from New York and New Jersey firms—have withstood the economic challenges, all things considered. The top 10 firms collectively increased revenue by more than 26% to $2 billion.
The firms on the New England ranking performed just as well as last year. The top 14 firms on the ranking—which includes specialty firms working in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont—logged a collective $1.9 billion, the same total as last year’s top 14 firms.
On the New York list, Petillo LCC, the Flanders, N.J.-based site and civil construction company, had a particularly good year in 2022. The firm finished second on the ranking with $280 million in revenue. That’s a 47% jump from when the firm finished fourth last year with $190.6 million.
“The past few years have strengthened Petillo’s ability to quickly assess and creatively address potential changes at all levels,”
says Robert Ginda Jr., chief financial officer, “allowing [it] to pivot if and when necessary.”
But while the firm has been busy working in the warehouse and e-commerce sectors as well as doing mixed-use construction, Ginda foresees slowing markets in the next year or two “as we start to see the impact of higher interest rates and the increased cost of money.”
E-J Electric Installation Co. is once again the No. 1 ranked firm on the ENR New York ranking. Selected as the magazine's 2021 Specialty Contractor of the Year, it reported $659 million in regional revenue last year. That is nearly a 3% increase from the $641 million in revenue that the Long Island City-based firm reported in 2021.
USA Inc. remains in the third spot on this year’s list with $231.8 million in 2022 revenue, a nearly 9.9% improvement from last year, when the firm notched $211 million.
W&W Glass LLC, the 2023 ENR New York Specialty Contractor of the Year, is No. 4 this year with $185 million in regional revenue, a 16% decline from the $220 million the firm reported last year when it ranked at No. 2 (see story NYNE18).
Urban Foundation/Engineering LLC ranks on the survey for the first time this year. The New York City-based firm was No. 10 with $75.3 million in regional revenue.
According to Tony Mazzo, the firm’s president, growing competition, fewer projects in the pipeline and smaller profit margins “have forced us to do better, work harder and in many cases, ‘think different.’” He was selected as an ENR 2022 Top 25 Newsmaker for masterminding the complex 30-ft lift of the historic Palace Theater into its new location in a Broadway high-rise.
Mazzo says that finding the “competitive edge” requires “unconventional solutions.” He adds that “aggressively” pursuing “things that your company is uniquely qualified to do … will always narrow the competition.”
Ranked on both the New York and New England specialty surveys, Bond Civil & Utility Construction Inc. installed about five miles of steel gas main parallel to an existing main for initial operation of National Grid's Growth Point project in East Greenwich, R.I.
Photo courtesy Bond Civil & Utility
For the third straight year, Wayne J. Griffin Electric Inc. tops the New England ranking. The Holliston, Mass., firm’s revenue of about $345.4 million is a 3.4% bump from its total of about $334.2 million last year.
J. Derenzo Co., the Brockton, Mass.-based sitework and excavation firm, did not participate in last year’s ranking but finished second on the 2023 list with $284.8 million in revenue.
“The past few years have strengthened [our] ability to quickly assess and creatively address potential changes at all levels.”
—Robert Ginda Jr., Chief Financial Officer, Petillo LLC
That bumped last year’s No. 2 ranked firm, S&F Concrete Contractors Corp., to third. The Hudson, Mass., company’s $264.5 million in regional revenue was a sharp 17.2% decline from the $319.5 million total it reported for last year’s ranking.
Bond Civil & Utility Construction Inc. ranked No. 4 on the New England survey this year with about $205.8 million—a more than 30% improvement from last year when it was at No. 5 with $157.76 million in revenue.
The Medford, Mass.-based firm is also ranked No. 8 on the New York survey with $79.8 million, up 12% from last year when it placed at No. 5 with about $71.3 million in revenue.
Bryce Carson, vice president of the company's trenchless division, recently helped establish its trenchless technology team. He says he has seen “remarkable and substantial growth” in infrastructure work across the New York and New England regions. Carson also notes that projects to repair and restore aging pipelines are plentiful in both regions.
No. 10 on ENR New York's Specialty Contractor ranking, Urban Foundation/Engineering did excavation and foundation work for an office tower at 29 Jay St. in Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy Urban Foundation/Engineering LLC
“We’re headed into an incredibly busy time for the trenchless industry,” he says. However, Carson adds that a “lack of excess labor and talent makes it especially challenging to keep up with demand, both from an operational aspect and a safety and quality standpoint as well.”
The executive is optimistic about his team’s ability to drive revenue in the next year or two because he says the company is well positioned to make use of its “ample inventory, abundant resources and skilled team to take on new trenchless opportunities in an emerging market.”