OTL IS ROOTED IN A PERSONAL SENSIBILITY THAT, NEARLY 30 YEARS LATER, IS STILL AT ITS CORE.
It began with cofounder John Carson helping neighborhood friends and acquaintances with small construction and carpentry projects. John soon garnered a reputation as a builder who could recognize and solve both common and obscure problems without compromising the aesthetic.
Word spread quickly, and recognizing the opportunity to build on his passion and the need to keep up with the demand, John enlisted long-time friend and fellow real estate enthusiast Angelo Cosentini to cofound OTL in 1985. Angelo had similarly been honing his skills in the market, mastering the complexities of development, with a propensity for recognizing a project’s true potential long before others and structuring the deal that would bring it to fruition.
With John at the helm of general contracting and Angelo leading development initiatives, OTL flourished on the forefront of the Manhattan real estate and housing landscape while it underwent a historic transformation. The firm has proudly built and renovated countless properties with leading designers and architects totaling over one million square feet of residential, commercial, and retail property in and around New York City. Their portfolio speaks volumes, not only of the unique perspective afforded by their partnership, but also of their stellar reputation and relationships. Founded by two friends, in a city they have grown and thrived with, OTL delivers the same personal attention, obsession with detail and specialized collaboration that is at the heart of, and was the catalyst for, its founding.
When did you join OTL and what brought you here? I joined OTL in 2004. I wanted to start my career in a field that utilized all my strengths and also had a promising future. I feel communication, problem solving, organization and creativity are my strengths and they’ve proven to help my growth in the industry.
What is your role? I am Project Manager, Director of Estimating, and was most recently made a Partner. I have worked in nearly every aspect of the company from the field, to Estimating and Sales, Accounting, Operations, Human Resources, Site Management, Project Management, and now as an Owner. I find this to be very important for my success. I have a lot passion for this company and my career; and I’m motivated. I’m looking forward to the future of OTL.
What do you love about it? I love that this job seems to touch almost every aspect of life from relationships to nuts and bolts. I feel fortunate to be doing a job that fits both my skill set and my lifestyle. I love the balance I feel when things are going well. I love that I am creating tangible, physical things that bring people satisfaction - that I can look at what I’ve done while riding my bike through the city. I’m really very happy to be a part of this.
When working on a project, how do you define success? I define success as when a client is happy, a new relationship has been made, and I’m proud to show my friends and family the final product.
What makes OTL stand out from other GC’s? The breadth of experience in our office with regard to every aspect of our industry in New York City. The mind-trust we collectively have - from building techniques, to design and planning, to maneuvering through the city agencies - is definitely unmatched by other GC’s offices. After 30 years of business, our rolodex is deep and faithful because they know what to expect from us. I don’t think you find that - along with the attention to detail and customized experience you get as one of our clients- everywhere. We also have the best parties, hands-down. I hope one day to be challenged on that one by my competitors.
How do you see the company changing over the next 5-10 years? I see our continued success. I see more green building projects and building techniques; I think passive house technology, solar, radiant, LEED, etc. will become a larger part of our business. I also think we will become more efficient as we continue to build our team and utilize technology to complete our processes from planning to paint.
What do you like about building in New York City? Are you kidding me with this question? It’s New York City!
Favorite building in the city? The Chrysler building and Bjarke Ingels 625 West 57th Street. I think that is going to be an incredible place to live/watch the sunset. I love seeing it’s progress while driving down the west side highway.
Where are you from? Lancaster, Pennsylvania.