8B — June 24 - July 14, 2016 — Contractors/Subcontractors — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


C ontractors /S ubcontractors

Barry Schmidt is founder of Schmidt Construction Consulting Advising clients on how to get better results on their projects in Elizabeth


ing made by different people. I also saw new ‘avoidable’ mis- takes year after year. By the time I was ready to consult I had a long list of things not to do,” said Schmidt. He graduated from SUNY Stony Brook in 1986 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. “Office construction was booming in Manhattan in the 80’s, so it was a natural place to start an engineering career. Growing up in Queens I always loved the Manhattan skyline and especially the twin towers,” he said. So after a couple of years working as an engineer for a

Long Island manufacturer, Schmidt found his first Man- hattan job working for a large construction management firm building a 23-story of- fice building on 5th Ave. “The glamor was irresistible, but after spending three years go- ing from pre-construction to occupancy in the middle of a real estate crash, the lessons learned were profound and for- mative for my career,” he said. The budget was $20 million in 1988, probably half of what it would cost today. He helped his bosses create the construc- tion budget, an elaborate 20- plus page document, except

where the calculation for the electrical work was done in two lines of rushed chicken scratch by the senior executive. The lack of thoughtfulness on that one line item resulted in a catastrophic delay and cost overrun two years later, none of which came to light until the 11th hour. Needless to say heads rolled and a young Schmidt was charged with completing the project and get- ting it signed-off by the DOB. This was during a disastrous financial time for the devel- oper, the industry and pretty much everyone involved with the project.

During the initial bidding it was apparent the electrical budget would be busted. In- stead of acknowledging reali- ty, the construction executives found a financially unqualified electrician to take the project on the cheap and the eventual default was disastrous. Rule number one was formed for Schmidt Construction Con- sulting, detect and deal with problems as soon as possible, lest they comeback to cause calamity. The next 10 years found Schmidt working on several high budget New York City gut renovations, including Scholastic’s headquarters in SoHo, the New York Public Library’s Science Industry and Business Library in the B. Alt- man Building and the trans- formation of the St. Moritz to the Ritz Carlton on Central Park South. Barry also worked on several luxury high rise de- velopments for a notable NYC residential developer. After finishing his MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business and amassing 15-years of lessons learned, Schmidt was ready to advise clients directly on how to get better results on their projects, and Schmidt Con- struction Consulting was born. Schmidt Construction Con- sulting has worked on a wide variety of types of projects in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the surrounding area since its founding in 2000. Those projects include new construc- tion, renovation and interior fit for private and public sector clients. Value is added by cast- ing a net of oversight, in order to detect and correct problems early. “Construction projects in- volve a host of characters from architects and engineers to general and sub-contractors” said Schmidt. “People natu- rally operate with their own bottom line in mind, as ev- eryone does in business. But the owner isn’t always experi- enced enough or able to invest enough time to make sure their interests are protected.” Schmidt takes a holistic view of projects, considering the most pressing risks to the owner’s interest of completion being on time and on budget. That risk is not always in the actual construction, although it most certainly can be. De- sign completion and govern- ment sign-offs often present a larger risk to the investment continued on page 22B

arry Schmidt founded Schmidt Construc- tion Consulting be-

c a u s e h e t r u l y b e - lieves better results can be obtained on construc- tion projects through pro- viding great- er care and

Barry Schmidt

oversight than what’s typically found in the industry. “After working in New York City for 15 years as a project manager on all sorts of projects, I kept seeing the same mistakes be-

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