Construction Today - January 2017 - 95
structure called Park House in the Bronx.
The 12-story building is about 75 percent
done and is expected to open next June.
The relationships between builder and
client tend to be complementary, Mounty
says, because stakeholders share Mountco's values of success and honorability. The
company typically does not bid on projects, instead securing work through established connections. In turn, the company
knows it is working with organizations that
measure success not by profits but in their
ability to build housing. "With a not-forprofit partner in construction, I always get
my last payment," Mounty says.
Not-for-profit organizations tend to have
a tighter grip on their funds than private
developers as they strive to maximize the
value of every dollar spent. The company's
in-house licensed architect, Carl Meinhardt,
works with the project's designers and subcontractors to plan out every detail before
building begins to reduce the likelihood
of unanticipated costs. "If we're building a
building under contract we want to make
sure the ways it is designed are right," Mounty explains. "The best way you keep a friend
as a contractor is to avoid change-orders and
to avoid lawsuits."
The collaboration that occurs on behalf
of the client's interests is why Mountco is so
highly regarded among nonprofit groups.
"We're honorable people. People have
known me for a long time in the community," Mounty says, adding that he takes pride
in his company's ability to deliver what was
promised. "I'm the sole owner of the business so if you hire Mountco you get me."
The positive reaction from the community
and residents is one of the reasons Mounty
has stuck with affordable housing projects
for the past 28 years. Because Mountco
manages many of its buildings, Mounty has
the opportunity to interact with residents
after they've moved in, and experiences
their excitement in going from substandard
housing to a high-quality unit designed for
their needs and livelihood.
New affordable housing projects are often
outfitted with community rooms, computer
labs and supportive services such as on-site
nurses for elderly tenants. Residents are
proud of what they have and work hard to
maintain their apartments. Mounty says
it's common to see people cleaning the
hallways in front of their doors just to keep
it looking nice.
The recently opened Grace Terrace, a
project for Grace Baptist Church, saw 800
applications for 67 units. Park House could
see an even greater draw: Mounty guessed
the building could have as many as 50,000
applications for its 248 units. "The demand
for affordable housing is infinite," he says.
"It's really a feel-good application."
The high demand for affordable housing
means there is little pressure for Mountco
to expand out of its framework. However,
the company would consider working
with groups that match its values. "We'd
be happy to branch out with the right local
partners, both not-for-profit and for-profit,"
JANUARY 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM