Alpine Builds Bigger, Better Mansions in Place of Old Estates

In the course of building people's Dream Homes, Alpine finds that it sometimes has to Bring Down The House.

Mon November 04, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Alpine Construction equipment fleet is ready to tackle the demolition of another mansion in Greenwich, Conn.
The Alpine Construction equipment fleet is ready to tackle the demolition of another mansion in Greenwich, Conn.
The Alpine Construction equipment fleet is ready to tackle the demolition of another mansion in Greenwich, Conn. John Apple (L), of Westchester Tractor works with Thomas DeMasi, Alpine Construction. A Kobelco SK250 goes to work destroying the upper stories of an abandoned home. Kobelco excavators are ideal for stripping away the exterior of the lower stories of a building.

Sometimes you have to tear down the old to make room for the new. Even if the old happens to be a million-dollar mansion.

Alpine Construction, based in east White Plains, N.Y., has a reputation in the New York and New England areas for doing exactly that — tearing down existing high-end homes (mansions) and replacing them with new ones. New, custom-built mansions that can cost in excess of $20 million.

There is not an endless supply of property in the New York City suburbs, and what property is available comes at a very high price. So it is not unusual for people to fall in love with a piece of property that has an existing estate located on it and be fully prepared to tear that one down and build a new one. Because of this unique aspect of the business, much of the equipment that Alpine Construction purchases is used for demolition in addition to construction.

The project that Alpine Construction most recently completed was a 13,500 sq. ft. home that included an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and some of the most extraordinary interior and exterior fit and finish work that Alpine Construction has ever been involved in, according to company founder Thomas DeMasi.

Obviously, customers building these extreme homes have high expectations of their contractor. DeMasi expects the same level of professionalism from the vendors that he works with.

DeMasi’s relationship with Westchester Tractor started in 1995 when he purchased a skid steer loader. Today, his fleet of equipment purchased from Westchester Tractor includes Kobelco SK150 and SK250 excavators; Kubota 121-3 and UR-55 excavators and a New Holland C232 compact track loader.

“The Kobelco machines have been extraordinary pieces of equipment,” DeMasi said. “They are very reliable machines. When we need parts they are readily accessible, but it’s quite rare for us to need anything.

“We are particularly thrilled to hear from John Apple, president of Westchester Tractor, that the management of Kobelco excavators in the United States has returned to the original Kobelco Corporation. From what I understand, that has eliminated a tier of distribution and will result in even more competitive pricing. The Kubota machines are built like tanks. There’s not a lot more I can say about them; they just don’t break. It’s rare for us to even replace a hydraulic hose.

’We’ve [also] been very pleased with the New Holland tracked loader. It is far more maneuverable and flexible on our type of job site and has been a valuable asset. There are a lot of steep grades in these residential sites and the sites are quite large. The tracked machine is ideal for these types of situations.”

About Alpine Construction

Alpine Construction Inc. was founded 22 years ago by DeMasi. Previous to starting his own company, DeMasi had worked for other contractors doing building rehabs. The company started out in the landscaping business and has grown to be one of the most significant builders of high end residential homes in the suburbs surrounding New York City, specifically Westchester County, N.Y. and Fairfield County, Conn.

DeMasi credits the growth of his business to word of mouth, his reputation and a tremendous amount of repeat business. Where the $20 million plus estates are not uncommon for Alpine Construction, they also are regularly completing homes in the $2.5 to $4 million homes.

“We have managed to do all of this doing very little promotion of our company. I don’t even have a Web site, and we do not do any advertising. It is all done word of mouth,” he said.

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