In the Big Apple, apartment listings top $80M and homeowners shell out more than $6B on residential renovations. The market has spawned countless general contractors, but not every construction company is suited to the luxury tastes and strict regulations of New York City real estate. A residential contractor in New York City must be prepared to work under the oversight of co-op boards and with a slew of special permits.
The New York City general contractors on our list are experts at meeting all of the city’s requirements and exceeding their clients’ high expectations. These licensed contractors have built penthouse apartments in the city’s most exceptional highrises, enviable estates in the Hamptons, and contemporary townhomes that blend indoor and outdoor living in the heart of Manhattan. In partnership with the top architects in the five boroughs — and, in the case of design-build, all on their own — these 15 contractors are building dream homes worthy of glossy page features and the highest listing prices.
15. John Hummel Associates
Website | 212.418.5201 | 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 1505, New York, NY 10010
The work of John Hummel and Associates has appeared in every industry magazine at the corner newsstand. Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, The Real Deal, Veranda, Hamptons, and House & Garden have all taken notice of the firm’s high-end work. John Hummel Associates has built lavish custom homes in the Hamptons and New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Westchester County over the last 30 years.
The residential construction company got its start after President and Founder John Hummel began his career in luxury Hamptons real estate and earned a degree in construction management from SUNY Delhi. He founded John Hummel and Associates in 1982 and, today, leads with partner and Chief Financial Officer Jon Hummel Jr.; Partners Kevin Hummel, Brendan Brew, Bruce Rambold, and Kevin Warren; and Senior Project Manager Charles Difalco.
The firm has a wealth of experience building and renovating exquisite homes with deference to the highly particular by-laws and codes that govern the historic streets of New York’s most upscale neighborhoods.
14) West Village GC
Website | 212.649.4632 | 454 W 50th Street #3R, New York, NY 10019
West Village GC has completed over 400 construction projects in Manhattan, including commercial, residential, and retail renovations. Their work has been featured in Kitchen & Bath Business Collective, Elle Decor, Curbed New York, the New York Times, and Dwell. In business since 2001, the company now works on more than 30 custom home projects per year.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer James G. Mansfield was brought up in the UK under the tutelage of his father, a prominent real estate developer. Despite the early introduction to the industry, Mansfield explored several other careers before founding West Village GC in New York City in 2001. Mansfield leads the firm with Ann Marie Didailler, the team’s lead project manager, who brings an interior design background to all of their custom home projects.
The firm collaborates with home design experts such as H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture and David Scott Interiors to deliver high-end designs and fine craftsmanship. Careful planning and strategizing have led the firm to a 100 percent on-time and on-completion rate over the past couple years.
13) King Rose Construction
Website | 212.239.8525 | 307 West 38 Street, Suite 501 New York, NY 10018
New York City general contractor King Rose Construction is equipped to see home building projects through from beginning to end. The construction company offers pre-construction, general contracting, and construction management services from their offices in the in the Bronx and in the Manhattan Garment District. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified firm has had work featured in Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the New York Times, and New York Magazine. King Rose Construction also received recognition from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.
At the helm is company President Yoel Borgenicht, a LEED Green Associate and Environmental Protection Agency Lead Certified Renovator. While Borgenicht manages King Rose Construction staff and their field operations, Principal Shoshana Bass, a former executive of Fortune 100 companies, directs the firm’s strategic growth. The pair brings more than 50 years of collective experience to every new home and home remodeling project the firm touches.
Beyond building apartments and townhouses, King Rose Construction also performs office build-outs and retail renovations, and builds multifamily buildings throughout NYC.
12) Aerial Design-Build
Website | 212.888.1880 | 122 E. 57th Street, Suite 4R, New York, NY 10022
Aerial Design-Build specializes in residential projects throughout New York City. Founding Principals Julie Kelley and Rupila Sethi work with design-build director Jessica Maktal in their Midtown office. Kelley, an 18-year veteran of the New York construction scene, leads the corporate side of the business. With degrees in architecture and lighting under her belt, Sethi has worked on commercial projects for Tiffany and HBO, as well as on luxury residences in the US and abroad. Maktal rounds out the leadership trifecta as an on-the-ground project manager.
New York Magazine consistently lists Aerial Design-Build among the top contractors in the city, and their projects have garnered attention from Architectural Digest, The Huffington Post, and CNN.
Among the Manhattan general contractor’s high-profile custom home portfolio is the Gramercy Park unit the firm designed and built for fashion designer Derek Lam. Lam’s apartment is a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath spread that cost $4.8M before renovations. The design-build firm partnered with interior design house Neal Beckstedt Studio to outfit the space with custom, pale-washed oak cabinetry and coordinating travertine.
11. Promenade Design + Build
Website | 917.310-1552 / 99 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
After finding success renovating condominiums in the upscale Boston suburbs of Brighton and Brookline, Promenade Design Build founder Scott Sassoon expanded his reach by acquiring property in historic Harlem. In partnership with an existing contractor, Sassoon gut-renovated brownstones, transforming dilapidated townhomes into luxury units. In 2008, Sassoon struck out on his own with Promenade Design Build to manage the design, development, and construction of high-end, residential real estate. Today, the firm takes on home remodel and custom home building projects with average budgets between $250k and $1M.
Promenade Design Build works with residential and retail clients, sometimes designing a project from the beginning, and other times collaborating with an architect and a client’s existing plans.
Among Promenade Design Build successes — some of which have landed in the pages of Luxe Interior & Design magazine — is the gut renovation of a 2,000-square-foot penthouse in NoHo. The licensed contractor outfitted the pad with re-pointed and sealed exposed brick, 7 by 7-foot windows, Jerusalem limestone, and custom millwork.
Website | 718.832.1182 | 45 Main Street, Suite 530, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The skilled project managers and craftspeople of luxury general contractor IA work from their headquarters in Dumbo and Brooklyn, as well as at an operations center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The IA staff include LEED Accredited Professionals and Passive House Certified Builders well-versed in green building materials and techniques that lend sustainability to decadence.
Partner Pat Murtagh and Managing Partner Pat Whetzle form the leadership team of the 40-plus year-old firm. After exploring careers in law and commercial fishing, Whetzle worked his way from carpenter to partner, earning the promotion in 1998. Murtagh had reached partner just two years earlier, after a carpentry apprenticeship in his native Dublin, Ireland, and emigrating to the States.
IA turns out highly-detailed, upscale projects that are magnets for media attention; their homes are featured in Oculus, New York Spaces, and Design Brooklyn. IA has also garnered recognition in the forms of the R+D Award from Architect Magazine and the Renaissance Award from Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts.
9) Think Construction
Website | 646.205.3223 | 130 W 25th Street, New York, NY 10001
Think Construction owners Tim and Matthew Moss had their first foray into constructing residences in Vermont, after they studied art and architecture in undergraduate programs. Today, Think Construction is a full-service general contractor in New York City specializing in high-end construction.
The licensed team of just under 50 staff members has produced projects featured in Architect’s Newspaper and Architectural Digest magazine, and online at Curbed and Contemporist. The company’s scale allows them to tap into a wealth of internal resources and remain personally involved with every project in their portfolio.
Think Construction completed the gut renovation of a unit in a one-of-a-kind building on Central Park West. The former hospital building was constructed in 1884 with two, 40-foot circular wards at either end. As the apartment has very few straight walls, every detail had to be precisely built to fit the curves of the space. The custom bronze work, pocket doors, window panels, and fireplace all move seamlessly with the apartment’s curvature.
8) DiSalvo Contracting
Website | 718.832.9400 | 4214 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232
This residential general contractor and construction management firm incorporated in 1977. Family-owned and operated, DiSalvo Contracting has now reached the guiding hands of the third generation of DiSalvos. Founder Vincent DiSalvo II began his career as a plasterer and sculptor in Sicily. He eventually handed his small business to his sons, Joseph and Vincent III. The home remodeling and custom build contractor now employs more than 70 staff and accomplished tradespeople.
After more than 40 years in business, DiSalvo Contracting has maintained personalized, high-quality services, fostering strong ties to repeat clients. They have been trusted with work in prolific Manhattan buildings such as the Dakota and 1 Sutton Place.
DiSalvo Contracting routinely partners with distinguished members of New York’s architecture and design communities, including Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects, 1100 Architects, Elizabeth Hammond Architect, Ingrao Design, Ashley Whittaker Design, and Match Studios. Look for examples of those collaborations in Luxe Interiors + Design, the New York Times Real Estate and House and Garden sections, House Beautiful, and Design Bureau, as well as in Architectural Digest and Luxury Home Quarterly.
7) Best & Company
Website | 212.776.1111 | 44-61 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101
With projects in classic, upscale neighborhoods along Park and 5th Avenues, and down to trendier locales like SoHo, the West Village, and Chelsea, Best & Company has run the gamut of luxury design in New York City. The firm has renovated apartments in landmarked buildings, from large-scale remodels down to custom millwork and cabinetry crafted in their own shop.
CEO and co-founder Chip Brian is a Duke University graduate and finance entrepreneur. Brian founded Best & Company in 2000, and now he heads the general contractor in Queens, plus adjacent business that complete the Best & Company suite of client-focused services.
Luxe Interiors + Design, Architectural Digest, and Elle Decor are among the architecture and design publications that have featured custom homes built by Best & Company. Vogue, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal have also taken notice of the Long Island City general contractor and their high-end work. Besides full-home remodeling projects, the company also takes on kitchen and bath renovations and custom closets.
6) Eljin Construction
Website | 718.585.3256 | 366 Canal Place Bronx, NY 10451
Several of the big names in New York City residential architecture — MR Architecture, David McAlpine Architects, and SPG Architects, to name a few — have worked with Mott Haven general contractor Eljin Construction to build high-end, luxury residences.
Founder and Principal Denis McCarthy leads the Eljin Construction team of more than 40 project managers, field supervisors, and tradespeople, who serve the entire tri-state area from their Bronx headquarters. Founded in 1988, the licensed contractor offers full home remodeling and historical restoration. Their high-end cabinetry and millwork services originated with McCarthy’s previous woodcraft business.
Eljin Construction has built homes along Park Avenue and Broadway, plus a number of apartments in buildings lining the 5th Avenue and Central Park West sides of Central Park. Some of the firm’s best work has been featured in Vogue Living, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, House Beautiful, and New York Spaces. Impeccable in their customer service just as in their craftsmanship, Eljin Construction is Better Business Bureau accredited with an A+ rating.
Tie 5) Rusk Renovations
Website | 212.544.0986 | 39 West 37th, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Family-owned general contractor Rusk Renovations is a full-service firm performing exquisite renovations and full-gut remodels in Manhattan’s most prized condominiums. John Rusk, founder and president, established Rusk Renovations in 1986 as a sole proprietorship. The firm has since grown from taking on limited, small projects to landing on the Remodeling Magazine Big 50 list of remodelers at the top of their fields. Professional Remodeler has also deemed Rusk Renovations a market leader.
Architecture: Plainspace Architecture and Design Interior Design: Shari Pellows Interiors Photography: Paul Rivera Architectural Photography
The staff of Rusk Renovations are professional craftspeople who are trained to understand the aesthetic intent of each project. Their past collaborations have resulted in a spectacular sculpted concrete staircase or “aged” woodwork throughout a turn-of-the-century apartments. Love of craft is evident in all details, including precise plaster moldings and clean hardware mortises. In business for over 30 years and owned by fourth generation builders John Rusk and Mary Kocy, the firm has developed a process for building guided by checklists for each sub-trade (28 in all). Rusk believes that the background of enduring quality requires following a consistent methodology based on best craft practices.
Rusk sponsors “colleges” to train employees in specialty trades, including air conditioning, ventilation, heating, gas, plumbing, and electricity Emphasis on continuing professional development and collegiality are two reasons why Rusk is the multiple winner of the “Best Companies to Work For in New York” awarded by Crain’s New York magazine.
Rusk provides clients with a two-year warranty. Its service department keeps project details organized and accessible for decades. An international, high profile client base relies on Rusk’s discretion and recognized expertise. Mary is a Perkins advisor at CUNY’s CityTech College. John teaches Residential Project Management at Columbia University.
Tie 5) Godwin Residential Construction
Website | 212.308.0558 | 1110 Second Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY 10022
A Franklin Report 5-Star Firm, Godwin Residential Construction has built bespoke, luxury homes throughout the Big Apple since 1982. Eric Cohler Design and Lichten Craig Architects are among the prominent New York City architecture houses that have partnered with the firm.
In Brooklyn Heights, Godwin Residential Construction reimagined a single-family brownstone. They converted the basement into a fully-functional level with a mud room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The building also benefited from crown molding and wiring updates throughout.
The Godwin Residential Construction portfolio includes hundreds more successful custom home builds in Greenwich Village, the Flatiron District, TriBeCa, Sutton Place, the Upper East Side, and more of the city’s classically elegant and currently trending neighborhoods. The home improvement contractor also boasts a 6,000-square-foot custom cabinetry and furniture shop with state-of-the-art millwork, in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from their Midtown East office. A typical project with Godwin Residential Construction ranges from $500K to $3M in value.
4) The Renovated Home
Website | 212.517.7020 | 1477 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10028
The Renovated Home is a full-service design-build firm based out of the Upper East Side. After more than 25 years in business, the firm has completed over 900 projects, with a typical construction budget running between $400k and $3M. In one of their most high-profile projects, The Renovated Home turned an Upper East Side parking garage into a 40-foot-wide mansion, one of fewer than 15 of its size in the upscale neighborhood. After renovation, the property was listed at $42.5M.
Other apartments outfitted by the Manhattan firm have been snapped up by celebrities like Debra Messing and marketed by television star and real estate broker Ryan Serhant. A portfolio of that caliber is bound to draw attention. The Real Deal, The New York Post, The New York Times, and CNN Money have all featured The Renovated Home custom homes in New York City. The firm’s upscale residences on the South Fork of Long Island have appeared in Hamptons magazine.
3) Taconic Builders
Website | 212.929.7811 | 39 West 37th Street, New York, NY 10018
Founding Partners Jim Hanley and Gerry Holbrook established Taconic Builders in 1983. The Manhattan general contractor is based just south of Bryant Park, with satellite offices in Mamaroneck and Southampton, plus branches in Florida, California, and London. Taconic Builders’ homes in each of those regions have been featured in Veranda, Interior Design, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and Home + Design.
President, CEO, and owner Vince Tyer came to Taconic Builders in 2000. He leads a firm staffed with LEED-certified project managers and members of the United States Green Building Council, as well as experts in GeoExchange Technology. The company is well-equipped to make every upscale home remodel or custom build a sustainable and eco-friendly venture.
The highly-skilled craftspeople of Taconic Builders specialize in acquiring and installing exotic interior and exterior finishes. The firm’s keen attention to detail extends beyond the construction phase. Taconic Builders has a dedicated team to handle customer service and project maintenance post construction. Detailed and customized project manuals ensure that each individual property receives optimal care.
2) United Elite Group
Website | 718.439.1222 | 255 52 Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11220
EPA Lead-Safe Certified firm United Elite Group was established in 2012 by co-founders Tolib Mansurov and Alisher Fahri. From their office in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, United Elite Group performs residential and commercial construction projects with average budgets ranging between $50,000 and $5M. Their services include high-end renovations and restoration of historic buildings. The firm takes on upscale projects ranging from bath and kitchen renovations to full home build-outs. Their completed work can be seen uptown along Riverside Drive, down in The Bowery, out on Howard Beach in Queens, and everywhere in between.
On the Upper East Side, United Elite Group completed the gut renovation of a spacious apartment just a couple blocks from Central Park. The firm created a master suite with built-in cabinetry. The master bath features custom tile work, chrome fixtures, and a smart spa bathtub. The main living space is appointed with a layered lighting program to create a comfortable atmosphere for entertaining guests or just a quiet night at home.
1) Harper Design + Build
Website | 718.832.4601 | 343 Sixth Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Harper Design + Build, a Park Slope-based firm, provides a full-service experience to homeowners in New York City and the area’s favorite weekend escape communities. Principal, architect and general contractor Ryan Harper founded the firm in 2004, drawing on experience as an architect and contractor with Gensler and Saladino Group.
Also a principal and licensed architect, Christine Harper joined the company after nine years as a senior associate at 1100 Architect, working on residences for high-profile clients. In total, Christine has over 18 years of experience in high-end residential design. Residential Interior recognized Harper Design + Build with a Best of Design Award. Look for projects by Harper Design + Build in The Architect’s Newspaper, GQ, and New England Home.
The Brooklyn general contractor has built homes in nearby Clinton Hill, Manhattan’s West Village, SoHo, and Gramercy, as well as getaways in Sagaponack. Besides custom home building and design, the firm also takes on commercial projects.