New players get in the NYC development game

October 1, 2014


Developer Jorge Madruga got his start as a parking-lot owner and spent the better part of the last decade building affordable housing. But since the bust, Madruga’s Maddd Equities has been on a development tear, with a spate of market-rate projects.


This year alone, Maddd Equities has nine projects under construction, including several on Manhattan’s Far West Side, where it’s developing a 155-room hotel at 444 Tenth Avenue and two sister buildings, 411-421 West 35 Street (187 luxury rentals) and 445-451 West 35 Street (125 luxury rentals). It’s developing all three with Joy Construction, a firm it started working with on affordable housing more than a decade ago, said Eli Weiss, Joy’s managing vice president.

“Some of the companies that did affordable housing didn’t go through the severe downturn of 2008, 2009 and 2010, allowing them to continue to keep their platform as robust as it was prior to the recession,” Weiss said.


Access to capital is now enabling such companies — including Maddd — to do market-rate deals.

Madruga, a native of Cuba who runs Maddd with his wife, Francesca, first waded into New York City real estate nearly a decade ago as a partner on a South Bronx condo project near Yankee Stadium. In 2009, he developed a 641-unit rental building at St. Ann’s Terrace in the Bronx.

But Madruga, who did not return calls for comment, moved on to the Manhattan development scene after the bust. And in the last two years, the company has taken on deals in highly visible areas, including near Hudson Yards.


In 2012, Maddd developed a 98-unit rental building called the Mantena on West 37th Street.

This year, meanwhile, Maddd launched an 86-unit rental building at 74-84 Third Avenue in Manhattan and a hotel-rental at 127 West 23rd Street. It also has several other projects in the works in other parts of the city.





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