Angelo Del Russo started his construction company Del-Sano Contracting Corp. in West Long Branch in 1975 by his “lone little self,” and has since grown the company into a 40-person operation.
Revenue from 2020 was, despite obvious challenges, better than most years due to the continuation of projects deemed essential, Del Russo said, including a building associated with New Jersey City University in Jersey City and another for Felician University in Rutherford.
Revenues from 2019 to 2020 increased 43% to $89.29 million. “The work was there, it was just a matter of doing the work and performing the work,” Del Russo said. “A lot of times, it’s easier to do the work than to get the work initially.”
The large projects of 2020 were already started before the pandemic, he said, so the company had to continue. That kept the coffers full in 2020. But current prices on lumber and other commodities are causing hesitancy in clients who aren’t looking to start the next project so fast. “We’re expecting prices to come down to some degree, so a lot of clients we work for are in a little bit of holding pattern,” Del Russo said.
“The opportunities are appearing, they’re showing up. Other projects that we see, we’re getting the chance to put prices on,” he said. “But I’m a little skeptical on how the year [ahead] is going to be because the projects we have, I don’t have a start date. It’s only talk until we have a letter of intent. I’m a little concerned about 2021 and 2022 getting started on the right foot, as they say,” Del Russo shared.
Del-Sano nabbed the No. 69 spot on NJBIZ’s Top 250 Privately Held Companies list. A journeyman carpenter by trade, Del Russo’s company focuses primarily on multi-family residential real estate and has built apartment buildings and senior housing all around the state. Despite several urban projects, the oft-discussed flight from cities that happened in 2020 had little effect on Del-Sano’s work, and soon the NJCU project in Jersey City will receive its certificate of occupancy.
“As people are ready to rent again in Jersey City, this project is out for lease up,” Del Russo said.