September-October 2017 | RELATIONSHIP DRIVEN




Duane Maddy of Piney Island Construction has built his successful business through honesty, integrity and the values associated with a relationship established on a solid foundation

Relationships, both personally and professionally, begin with a first impression — and that singular moment can shape the course of how they will evolve.

When Piney Island Construction owner Duane Maddy received word that recent purchasers of a home he’d built 15 years earlier, which was vacant for a time, had a leaky window, he ordered a replacement and, with a coworker, personally helped to replace it.

“I’ve always believed in doing things the right way and treating people as if they were family,” Maddy said. “Helping these folks, who were new to the area and who needed a hand, was the right thing to do.”

The homeowners, Ben and Alma Seidel, were thoroughly impressed that Maddy would even care about their problematic window, let alone be part of the crew that replaced it. It was a gesture they would never forget — and the start of a relationship that would yield tremendous benefits for both.

Ben, whose family are Salisbury natives, moved to West Ocean City in 2006. In 2010, Ben opened his hotel-management company, Real Hospitality Group, with an original business model that forecasted the need to acquire 20 hotel-management contracts within a 10-year period.

Today, just seven short years later, Real Hospitality Group manages 82 hotels nationwide, with more in the pipeline, and boasts an investment arm for acquisitions, as well. Real Hospitality Group presently ranks 15th among the top-100 hotel-management companies in the country, and during this period of substantial growth, Real Hospitality Group’s corporate offices relocated and leased office space five times between Ocean City and Manhattan, due to the sheer need for larger offices. It was after the fifth move that the Seidels
concluded it was time to own and build their own office space and make their corporate headquarters in West Ocean City.

“We met with several recommended builders, and I could never envision a long-term relationship with any of them,” Ben continued. “So I said to Alma: ‘Let’s call the company that replaced our window at the house. That was a guy who stood by his product years after he built it for somebody else. He could have also charged us hundreds more for that window, but he didn’t. We need to meet with him.’”

Enter Maddy, who started his own local building business in 1991, doing so with the pillars of honesty and integrity at the foundation of his company. The Seidels, believing in the same principles above all else, awarded Piney Island Construction the bid to erect the company’s permanent home.

The project, however, would not be carefree; permit delays pushed the start of construction back months, and the company’s current rental lease was set to renew for another year if they were not out of the space by the lease-end date. With funding in place from the Bank of Ocean City, Maddy acquired a foundation permit, confident that any changes to the building’s footprint could be managed, and broke ground. Real Hospitality Group’s world headquarters, a state-of-the-art facility that would impress any big-city hotel executive, was ready for business just six months from the ground-breaking ceremony.

“Absolutely unheard of,” said Ben with regard to Duane’s incredible completion time. “He coordinated everything, dealt with any problems efficiently and built one hell of an office for us.”

The synergistic story of the Seidels and Piney Island Construction entered its third phase when the couple decided to build their new home — just 100 feet from where Maddy replaced that leaky window 11 years earlier. The 5,000 sq. ft. dream home, which Ben and Alma moved into on June 30 of this year, is majestically set within a recessed cul-de-sac in the upscale community of Ocean Reef.

Duane and his team delivered on each detail. Every room has its own distinct identity yet blends seamlessly from each transition. With abundant storage that boosts future resale, there is a bonus space above the garage that offers a fully furnished apartment-like setting. 

As with their corporate offices, the Seidels value an airtight and energy- efficient home. Maddy delivered again, by utilizing ultra-modern air-handling and ventilation systems in the residence.

“Duane found a way to build an incredible home to Alma’s design standards and my budget requirements — keeping us both happy,” Ben said. “Together, we were very candid with each other, which builds trust — that’s our business philosophy, and that’s who we are personally. Duane, too. It’s been a great relationship — exactly the type we all strive for.”

Piney Island Construction’s talented and multifaceted team allows them to build residential homes and commercial projects. Familiar examples of their light-commercial work are Sherwood on the Shore in Salisbury and the shopping center on Rte. 50 in Berlin that is occupied by Verizon, among other local businesses.

Residentially, Piney Island Construction builds from the Delaware Beaches to Annapolis, with projects currently underway in both areas, as well as in Worcester County and parts of Virginia.

A central focus of Piney Island Construction’s philosophy includes Maddy being hands-on with every job, on every site, every day — overseeing the construction and interacting with the contractors and subcontractors. “I’m convinced that one of the best things we’ve done over the years is cultivate quality and enduring relationships with our contractors,” said Maddy, who’s worked in the building industry since the age of 15. “By being reliable and trustworthy, we’ve managed to harness the area’s best contractors to work with us and for us all year long. These relationships mean that our jobs are being finished on time and on budget because a group of very talented people are showing up to work every day and are getting the work done right, not skipping out unexpectedly to try to make the next quick buck somewhere else.”

Piney Island Construction’s goal is to provide their clients with modern design concepts fused with proven, time-tested techniques acquired through years of experience in the building industry. Combining expert craftsmanship and genuine pride in workmanship, Piney Island is committed to the absolute satisfaction of their customers. 

“I have always believed that success comes doing the right thing and being honest with the customer,” Duane said. “It’s a primary reason for our success over our 25 years in business, and we’re not going to do anything different over the next 25 years.”

Piney Island Construction offers complimentary design-and-build service consultations to discuss their client’s building needs.



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