Vying for greater growth

General contracting company poised for bigger projects

Karen Morales | 3/7/2018, 10:56 a.m.
Cesar DaSilva has pictures of his company’s design and construction projects, the blueprints and sketches as well as the completed ...
Cesar DaSilva at DCCS, Inc. headquarters in Dorchester. Banner photo

“It has taken a long time for us to scale. The majority of minority companies tend to not scale,” he said. When asked why not, he responded, “Access to capital. And the stigma we have out here that minority companies are not professional enough or don’t know what they are doing.”

DCCS was able to get a contract with Madison Park Village because of a $200,000 loan from MassHousing and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, DaSilva said.

“In projects like that, you work 60 days before you can get paid,” he said. “That’s why a lot of small minority contractors can’t work on these big projects because they don’t have the capital to pay their workforce two months in advance.”

He continued, “There is a city boom, but how many minorities are actually doing it? We are a majority in the city. If we are, why are we not working these projects that have big dollar values? It’s an issue that needs to be dealt with, and some of us are not being called to sit at those tables.”

DaSilva said that DCCS would be open to working with bigger general contracting companies to take on smaller portions of a project such as roofing or framing.

Immigrant family homes

While trying to get a bigger piece of the pie in Boston’s development, DaSilva said that DCCS just recently launched a new subsidiary project: American House Edition.

AHE will specialize in suburban home renovation and additions such as garages, second floor or rear extension, targeted to immigrant families.

“Most houses that immigrants are buying, smaller houses, need to have additions because the immigrant family structure usually has three to four kids, an in-law, an uncle or grandparent,” said DaSilva.

And similar to the company’s city projects, most of the work would be in-house. “We are able to price your project as we design, file for zoning permits and then build your home addition, much faster and on budget,” said DaSilva.

In addition to venturing outside the city, the company is not shying away from innovative technology, like their new implementation of virtual reality. With a VR viewer connected to an app on a smartphone, clients can see what the company’s interior designs would look like, before work on the home even starts.

Home sweet home

At the Howland Street headquarters, DCCS is located in the bottom level of the house and DaSilva lives on the upper levels with his family. In 1999, DCCS gutted the entire interior and converted it into a two-family dwelling, complete with high ceilings, hardwood floors, and plentiful windows. The DaSilva home is a fine example of DCCS craftsmanship, but the smell of home-cooked food and a friendly dog bounding up to visitors are undeniable manifestations of the American Dream.