Navesink Fine Homebuilding delivers luxury custom homes and relief to Superstorm Sandy victims.
NAVESINK FINE HOMEBUILDING has made its reputation as a custom homebuilder catering to the Jersey Shore by making sure employees treat the homes they’re building as if they were their own. According to partner Brian Lawrie, that attitude comes from the highest levels of the executive chain of command.
“If there is one phrase that describes our company, it’s: ‘There’s no standing around,’” Lawrie says. “It may sound simple, but it is hard to enforce unless management is leading by example.”
Navesink Fine Homebuilding was launched in 2003 to purchase and develop residential real estate in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Before starting Navesink, partners Lawrie and Marc Dantoni were active investors and owners of residential rental properties.
Dantoni has specialized in custom homebuilding since 2003. He is on every job site, working with subcontractors,
vendors and inspectors to offer code compliance, design changes, material purchasing and overseeing assigned managers on a day-to-day basis.
“We believe one of the best assets we have is our subcontractors,” Lawrie says. “As a general contractor/new homebuilder, these guys are our extended workforce. Many times, they will interact with our clients as much as we do. It is important they represent our company in the best possible light.”
Changing with the Times
Over the last five years, Lawrie says the biggest change in the custom homebuilding market in New Jersey is his
customers’ access to information.
“Access to global products, websites that calculate costs, public data on sales and cost of properties have empowered the consumer,” Lawrie says. “It’s important for our company to be part of that trend of information and transparency. We want to be an important resource in our clients’ decision-making process.”
In 2010, Navesink Fine Homebuilding purchased a 1 ½-acre piece of vacant land in Rumson, New Jersey, to build a spec house. Despite the state of the economy at the time, Lawrie says the company realized the right house still could command a price point that would make building new product worthwhile.
“The market was still suffering from the shock of the housing crisis, but we were confident that we could create a one-of-a-kind estate that would offer a buyer the right mix of design, style and architecture at a price that would make sense,” Lawrie says. “When completed two-and-a-half years later, it was the highest-priced spec house sold in Rumson since the housing bubble burst.”
Considering what Navesink Fine Homebuilding put into the home, there’s no doubt as to why it commanded such a
high price of $3.225 million. The home occupies over 9,000 square feet and has 167 windows.
“The sheer magnitude of the house was greater than any prior projects,” Lawrie says.
Navesink Fine Homebuilding learned a valuable lesson about building homes of this size for future projects. The size of such projects will lead to more complications overall, so it is best to plan for these scenarios ahead of construction, according to Lawrie.
“It’s easier to build three 4,000-squarefoot houses than one 9,000-square-foot house,” Lawrie says. “You need to be prepared for the longer time frame in order to stay on budget.”
In 2013, Navesink Fine Homebuilding partnered with Prestige Plumbing – a large commercial plumbing company in New York – to participate in the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation Program to help restore the New Jersey shore after Superstorm Sandy devastated the region.
Navesink Prestige LLC qualified as a firstround contractor for New Jersey and has been rebuilding damaged homes since, according to Lawrie. To date, Navesink Prestige has built or renovated over 20,000 square feet of housing in
the Jersey Shore region.
From November 2012 through March 2013, Navesink Prestige also performed disaster recovery subcontractor work through New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection Rapid Repair Program in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Back on their Feet
This work included the installation of new water heaters, furnaces, baseboard and associated water and gas piping on over 450 homes in scattered areas located throughout Staten Island, Rockaway, Brooklyn, Breezy Point and SeaGate.
According to the company, Navesink Prestige interfaced with approximately 1,500 displaced individuals throughout the five regions. Along with Dantoni and Lawrie, Robert Bruno of Prestige Plumbing serves as a principal with Navesink Prestige.
A Fine Future
With a solid foundation based on over 10 years of success in the New Jersey’s homebuilding industry, Lawrie expects Navesink Fine Homebuilding to continue growing throughout the region.
“We intend to continue doing what we are doing now and expanding our territory served,” Lawrie says.