We all know that Hollywood likes to recycle ideas what with reboots, sequels, prequels, and shared universes. If a movie made money in the past in certainly can do it again. While that train of thought is great for studio executives it robs us of potentially new and exciting films. We’ve gone through the pirate phase, survived vampire addiction, suffered through young adult dystopian futures and have now entered the age of comic book movies. But what is next? I would like to suggest to you an untapped reservoir of rich story telling, NYC and its past (maybe present?) cut throat concrete industry.
Case in point, Transit Mix Concrete, the successor in one form or another of Colonial Sand and Stone. You would think the island of Manhattan would be awash in concrete producing facilities but in the early 1980’s just two productions plants were to be found and they were owned by the same man, Edward J. Halloran. Along with Transit Mix, Halloran also purchased Certified Concrete and Big Apple Concrete Corporation. Combining the assets of the three companies resulted in Mr. Halloran, also known as Biff, controlling near 100 % of the ready mix industry in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The NY Time reported in 1982 that the concrete prices were on average 70 percent higher than any other city in the Northeast. Federal and City authorities soon had enough and began a wide reaching investigation into the concrete empire that had deep mob connections, specifically to the Genovese crime family. In attempt to break the concrete strangle hold NYC decided to publicly solicit and subsidize outside companies. Only one organization took the chance, a Maryland owned company operating under the name West 57th Street Concrete Company. It should come as no surprise that this venture did not last as it was plagued with “problems” and lawsuits. Eventually the contract was cancelled without producing a noticeable amount of material. Crime and time eventually caught up with Biff and his underworld connections. In 1987 Halloran was convicted of Federal racketeering charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Four years later a new trial was granted and after a series of plea deals the concrete king was released with time served. He was last seen in driving his convertible Rolls Royce Silver Cloud to his new home in Florida. He never arrived and no trace of existence has ever be discovered.
The Mob, larger the life owners, crusading public law enforcers, the trucks! All taking place in front of the rich back drop that is New York City. Summer block buster if you ask me. Someone better get on the phone and put aside some Crane Carriers for when filming takes place. Ryan knows were a few originals are located.
A U.S. Federal Court eventually sold all of the assets of Transit Mix and Certified Concrete to the Quadrozzi Concrete Corp which ended up having trouble of its own but that is a story for another day. Thanks to Ryan for the photos and back story and thanks to Ted for his research as well.
I suggest checking out the links below for the full details of the story. Interesting reads all around.
Sources: Monopoly Is Seen In Concrete Sales, Gotham Unbound: How NYC Was Liberated From The Grip of Organized Crime, Ex-Hotel Owner With Former Ties to Mobsters Disappears, Mystery of the Rolls Royce Convertible Revealed,