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Quality, service drive J.T. Magen’s success with the world’s biggest brands

Pictured: Robert Scheinman, Principal, Maurice Regan, CEO & Founder
Pictured: Robert Scheinman, Principal, Maurice Regan, CEO & Founder

At the end of a project, elite construction management firm J.T. Magen wants more than just a remarkable space that’s completed on time. While that’s always part of the equation, they also want to have obtained a happy client—one who is so satisfied they will engage the firm for their next project and provide a reference to others.

On that goal, its track record speaks for itself. Clients return repeatedly, thanks to the firm’s commitment to honesty and integrity and an unwavering focus on quality. These factors have led to their longevity—with the original ownership in place since 1992, J.T. Magen has been the contractor behind many of New York’s most iconic landmarks, and at the request of clients has since taken its expertise to major cities including Chicago and Los Angeles. They recently signed a new lease on Biscayne Boulevard in the white-hot market of Miami, and have plans to open in Austin, Texas, at a key client’s request.  

Founder and CEO Maurice Regan attributes this success to several factors, from its company culture to its creativity and willingness to go the extra mile in every situation.

Standing out from the competition

Its impeccable reputation makes the J.T. Magen name brand synonymous with quality, and in an ultra-competitive market, they are one of the top-tier general contractors considered for the highest-profile projects. Its enviable client list constitutes a “who’s who” of top companies that run a full spectrum of industries, including hospitality, residential, healthcare, not-for-profit and mission-critical.

One recently completed project was the new office space for TikTok. Carlos Krinsky, who heads corporate real estate for TikTok’s parent ByteDance describes J.T. Magen as a one-of-a-kind partner over the recent years. “They have been instrumental in our ability to design and build top-quality office space in the NYC area as well as neighboring cities,” he says.

“Their flexibility, determination, stability and clout is unmatched. TikTok continues to enjoy the association and looks forward to working closely together in the future on new projects.”

As an example of how the firm saturates the retail industry, take a stroll down Fifth Avenue in New York, and as you gaze at the flagship stores of luxury and lifestyle brands, you can be sure J.T. Magen was involved in almost every one, says Regan. “While it’s been a long road to get here, we are fortunate with the clients we have had to be at the pinnacle of industries like retail. We don’t believe anyone else has our level of expertise.”

Nike (HQ)
Nike (HQ)

One of J.T. Magen’s differentiators is how its executives shepherd projects from inception to completion. “It’s unusual in the industry to be involved in every meeting throughout a project, but we’ve realized the value of instilling confidence in the client via the personal touch,” says Principal Bobby Scheinman. “They realize they have someone they can trust who can answer questions and offer solutions to the challenges that inevitably crop up.” He says the firm particularly relishes the chance to be involved in a project from inception to help set the foundation well, which leads to a smoother overall process.

Another key competitive advantage is its professional staff— from experience in the trades, engineers, to architects who are the best in the business. They also have special prowess on the estimating side, with team members who have undergone the equivalent of a master’s degree in quantity surveying through a special program devoted to professional estimating. 

Meeting challenges head on

As Scheinman notes, every project has a timetable, but often none are so exact as for retail clients, particularly those racing to open in time for the holiday season. In one such example, J.T. Magen had a tight 18 week turnaround for a flagship New York retail store, which it accommodated by working shifts around the clock, compacting the work into 30 days. “We don’t miss schedules,” Scheinman says. “You set up the team and a game plan to make it happen.”

When the industry pivots, so does J. T. Magen. An excellent example is its new supply chain department, which was expanded during the recent upheaval to deal with the monumental changes in how materials are sourced. Before they could rely on subcontractors to handle sourcing and expedite materials if they ran into a bind.

“It used to be that only certain materials and equipment had a long lead time, but now that’s essentially the case with everything,” Scheinman says. Now the team verifies any information they receive from vendors and constantly searches for alternate materials to neutralize this emerging challenge. And when a potential delay does arise, they will proactively communicate the details so they can problem-solve collaboratively with the client.  

With every project and client, they learn something new, Regan says. “Whether it’s a new material or a new method of building, we are constantly pushing the limits and know there’s nothing that can’t be achieved.


Serving clients across the country

While J.T. Magen intends to protect its local base in the greater New York and Tristate area, its expansion has been sparked by clients who have expectations others couldn’t fulfill.

“We work with motivated, aggressive companies who are always pushing the limit on how quickly and efficiently they can complete a project, and they often found they weren’t receiving the same level of service elsewhere so they wanted to engage us,” Regan says.

And he notes, they would be foolish not to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. “If you stay only in New York, you miss riding the curve of the different influences in other places.”

These affiliate offices are equipped to circumvent problems that arise when working in specific markets. With a local presence, they can ensure they have the right intelligence to stay one step ahead of different rules and regulations and have the opportunity to establish relationships with top suppliers and partners. The goal is to ensure the service clients receive is up to J.T. Magen impeccable standards.

COVID also initiated a reset in people’s lives that has manifested itself in migration to new places, most notably Miami. “There’s a synergy between the two cities, and today it’s almost like there’s a skybridge between New York and Florida,” notes Regan. As the Miami market continues to grow, J.T. Magen has been rapidly building its reputation in order to expand its professional pool. “We don’t just put a toe in the water. We have a proven approach that our clients expect and by having a local presence we can align ourselves with people in the community who share our commitment,” says Scheinman.

While each office tackles a variety of different projects, the firm assures clients receive the same excellent and dedicated service no matter what city they’re in. “We have built strong relationships with clientele throughout the country, which has resulted in a much-welcomed increase in demand. By extending our reach, our team and quality of work has grown exponentially across all of our locations, as we continue to prioritize our clients’ unique needs and deliver the level of service they have come to expect from J.T. Magen, no matter where they are,“ explains Regan.

New opportunities on the horizon

Regan sees potential in every sector—from data centers to hospitality. Another area J.T. Magen is poised to conquer is the conversion of outdated Class B office space that is being reimagined as high-end residential developments. Having just completed the largest conversion in New York City at One Wall Street, they are applying what they learned to future projects. “We’re here to fill the void. The world continues to change, and we are here to adapt to emerging needs and continue to serve clients with the qualities we’ve exhibited for 30 years.”

Regan says the company is what it is today because of its dedicated staff and commitment to always put the client first and focus on delivering quality and service. “We could be double our size, but that wouldn’t do us or the client justice. We have made conscious decisions that have led to our success.”

But at the end of the day, everyone knows a company is only as good as its people, and J.T. Magen aims to retain the best. “Our key commodity is our employees, who are my friends and partners,” says Regan.  

 “It’s a high-pressure business,” acknowledges Scheinman. “There are deadlines and challenges. But people want to work here because they know we have their back. Even as we have expanded our firm, we have maintained the culture and camaraderie that sets us apart, and it’s what keeps our clients coming back.”