A Q and A with Lee Manners/New York City’s LMA Group
I was recently asked by the LMA Group to feature their residential renovation and remodeling work. I’m glad they did. Their portfolio of work is excellent (see below). I also asked Lee Manners to give me a little more information about himself and his company. The following is our virtual Q&A:
The LMA Group Inc. was founded by Lee Manners in 1993. Their primary service is residential general contracting. Lee was born and raised in the Bronx, attended Ohio University & Columbia University, earned a BFA in Interior Design & BA in Architecture and headed multi-disciplinary design firm Lee Manners & Associates from 1975 to 1993 before founding the LMA Group. Lee is a an AIA Associate Member, and member of the National Arts Club. The LMA Group recently completed an apartment combination on the Upper West Side, a duplex renovation on Park Avenue, a lobby renovation on Park Avenue, a 2-Bedroom Renovation on Upper West Side, a townhouse renovation in the West Village, and an apartment combination on the Upper East Side.
Q: What was your path to the present?
A: My father & grandfather were both in construction, having steel fabrication businesses; my architectural & design background combined with my construction heritage lead to LMA Group.
Q: Was there a major moment or event that influenced the start of your business?
A: The recession of 1993.
Q: Do you have a mentor, muse, influence, or inspiration for the work you do?
A: No single person or thing. I am influenced by the built environment, beautifully designed objects, and a desire to create long-lasting living spaces for our clients.
Q: Describe your business, service or product
A: We build high-end residences in NYC – townhouses, apartments, apartment combinations, and building lobbies.
Q: What resources or tools do you find most helpful for running your business?
A: We take extensive advantage of cloud computing. Our Project Management and file storage systems are accessible from any computer anywhere, providing LMA office, cabinet shop and field personnel immediate access to the information needed to keep projects flowing smoothly.
Q: What have been your key successes in terms of generating business or creating your product?
A: Putting together a talented team of qualified construction professionals who are passionate about their work.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone interested in being an entrepreneur or working in this industry?
A: For someone starting a business, assuming the knowledge, skills and passion are there, the biggest challenges can be obtaining a good and affordable liability insurance policy and having adequate cash flow.
Q: What specific part of your business are you most passionate about?
A: I thoroughly enjoy the entire building process, seeing it all come together, leading up to a beautiful and finely crafted end product. If I had to identify a single element I am most passionate about it would be architectural millwork. I guess that’s why we have our own cabinet shop, which if I had the time, I would spend more time working at.
Q: What is your favorite meal / restaurant?
A: Sushi at Sushi Yasuda
Q: Tell me about a recent purchase?
A: A 150 year old wood and metal carpet ‘comb’ from Turkey
Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
A: Artisanal Ice Cream
Q: What book or film would you recommend?
A: They Call It Myanmar
Q: Have you ever had a transformative travel experience?
A: Machu Pichu in 2011
Q: What is your favorite neighborhood?
A: Gramercy Park & Nantucket
Q: What is your dream holiday?
A: Being able to take more than 10 days at a stretch
Q: What publications do you subscribe to?
A: Metropolis, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Architects Newspaper, NY Times, NY Mag, Architect, Interior Design, Renovator
Q: Are you involved with any charities or support any philanthropic causes?
A: MS Research
Q: What tech gadget can’t you live without?
Q: Where can we find you on the internet?
My favorite of their completed projects:
UPPER EAST SIDE DUPLEX
WEST VILLAGE TOWNHOUSE 1
WEST VILLAGE TOWNHOUSE 2