Fourth-generation North Fork builders make ‘dream come true’

06/13/2017 9:36 AM |

Glenn and Jeff Heidtmann’s affinity for their hometown stretches back to their childhood days spent on the water, swimming in the bay and fishing in the creeks of the North Fork. 

Pointing to an area of Jockey Creek in Southold on a recent morning, Jeff recalled days spent clamming from a family boat.

It’s on that same creek that the Heidtmann brothers, fourth-generation builders, are now embarking on a project very different from what their company has always done. They’re building a spec house that aims to combine their local North Fork sensibilities with the high-end quality construction their family has long been known for across Long Island.

“I actually found this property and wanted to purchase it 17 years ago,” Glenn said on a recent tour of the site, where construction began earlier this year. “I’ve watched it for a long time. It was on the market and I was lucky enough to be able to purchase it.”

Rising from the foundation on a wooded lot along Hill Road is a five-bedroom house with a first-floor master suite and wide views of both the creek and a waterfall infinity-edge swimming pool that’s currently being installed. A dock will connect the property to the body of water it overlooks.

“We grew up on the water,” Glenn said. “So to have the opportunity to do something like this on the water is a dream come true in the line of work that we do.”

Glenn, right, and Jeff Heidtmann outside Bridgehampton National Bank in East Hampton Village.

That line of work follows a path carved by their great-grandfather, Frederick Heidtmann, the family patriarch who in 1902 launched the business his great-grandsons now own together. He was a big man, known as a leader not just within his industry, but to the Floral Park community, which he served as mayor.

Henry Heidtmann, Frederick’s son, brought the family to the North Fork, where he had a summer home in South Jamesport.

For more than 100 years, Heidtmann & Sons has focused on high-end residential and commercial projects across the region. A typewritten inventory of projects from decades ago includes banks and churches covering nearly every corner of the island. More recently, the company has focused much of its work on the East End, particularly the South Fork, with highly visible projects like Bridgehampton National Bank in East Hampton and the Buzz Chew dealership in Southampton.

“Doing this work is a passion,” Jeff said. “I take a lot of pride in it. My brother and I, and our whole family for the past four generations, has taken a lot of pride in the end result of what we offer.”

Jeff and Glenn, who were raised in Southold, took over the family business about 10 years ago, after their father had headed the company for more than three decades. For much of that time, both brothers were involved, lending a hand from the time they were old enough to push a broom on a construction site.

“All these years later, we’re still the head cleanup foremen,” Glenn said with a laugh.

The kitchen of an Amagansett home built by the Heidtmann brothers.

While most of the family’s work has centered on the Hamptons, the brothers have undertaken projects in their hometown, where they are now looking to increase their visibility. Their North Fork projects have included the Bridgehampton National Bank building on Front Street in Greenport, 1670 Furniture House in Southold and Cutchogue New Suffolk Library, among others.

“We have kind of a niche where we have the ability to do residential and commercial,” Glenn said. “It’s gratifying to be able to do both and to do it in our neighborhood is a dream come true.”

The spec house, which they hope to put on the market late this summer, is being built with careful consideration for the land and community around it, the brothers said. For example, not a single tree beyond what is required will be removed.

“You try to preserve things and subtly improve,” Glenn said of the property. “We want to build off the special qualities that exist and try not to impact the neighborhood while we do it.”

It’s a philosophy the company has had in place since the days when its founder brought materials to job sites by horse-drawn carriage. It’s something they hope to continue for decades to come, on the North Fork and beyond.

And in case you were wondering, yes, there is a fifth generation of Heidtmanns watching from a distance.

“They have the Fisher-Price tools, but they want to use the real tools already and not the toys,” Jeff said.

One day, their dads will hand them brooms.

This post was sponsored by Heidtmann & Sons Builders and created by Times Review Partners, a division of Times Review Media Group. Learn more about Heidtmann & Sons at gfhbuild.com.

The Heidtmanns hope to bring this house on Hill Street in Southold to market in the fall.

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