2012 OTTY Awards: Condo Developers Who Also Built a School

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By Vatisha Smith

The Upper East Side was rocked by a fatal crane accident in 2008 that resulted in the deaths of two people. Fast-forward to September 2010 on the same site, where there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of The Azure and Middle School 114, located at 331 E. 91st St.

Joseph Mattone of The Mattone Group and Scott DeMatteis of The DeMatteis Organizations were the guiding hands behind the partnership that built The Azure, a luxury high-rise condominium that includes a new middle school on the same location. The modern school replaced the aging P.S. 151.

The Azure complex includes a 128-unit luxury tower and 520-seat school. It was built as part of the Education Construction Fund (ECF), a program that was created by the New York State Legislature in 1967. The fund encourages constructing mixed-use real estate projects that feature new schools.

"We have a tremendous amount of experience in school development and construction," DeMatteis said. Both organizations have developed numerous schools over the past several years.

The partnership started with Mattone's relationship with DeMatteis' grandfather back in the 1960s, when they assembled properties off the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.

Mattone was born Sept. 15, 1931, in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. Initially he practiced law, but transitioned into property development after learning the business from his older brother.

DeMatteis, the third generation in his family to work in real estate, has been in the business for over 30 years. He currently resides in Long Island with his family.

The new school is a District 2 school that goes from 6th to 8th grade. Under the direction of Principal David Getz, it has become one of the most sought-after schools on the Upper East Side. It replaced a dilapidated, overcrowded structure.

"The ECF was very specific as to the requirements for the design of the building," DeMatteis said.

Both men are proud of the school and building they built.

"Elected officials and representatives of the community and board of education praised the completion of the school," Mattone said. "The community has also spoken about the quality of the residential project, which is approximately 50 percent sold."

caption id="attachment_38540" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Scott DeMatteis"][[/caption]

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