How a Long Island Company Went From Residential to Retail for National Brands


With more than 1,200 stores, Five Below has a lot of locations. And that means a lot of construction and buildouts. Peter J. Dalaker, president of AMC Enterprises LLC, a general contractor based in Central Islip, heads one of the companies doing the work.

The firm, specializing in retail as well as residential and medical, helps build national brands – literally.

“Retail for the national brand market is the majority of our business. We do work up and down the East Coast from Florida to Maine,” Dalaker said from Ranson, West Virginia, where his company just finished building out a Shoe Dept. “We have had no slowdowns since the pandemic started. We’ve been at full bore.”

The National Retail Federation forecasts that retail sales during 2023 will grow between 4% and 6% over 2022 to between $5.13 trillion and $5.23 trillion.

Last year’s annual retail sales grew 7% over 2021 to $4.9 trillion, nearly double the pre-pandemic average annual retail sales growth of 3.6%. While e-commerce is a huge force, national brands often are growing their brick-and-mortar footprint.

“Some of the smaller brick-and-mortar stores are closing up. They can’t compete with online,” Peter Dalaker said. “The larger, national brand brick- and-mortars are as busy as ever.”

The Dalaker family ran a metal finishing business from 1964 to 2009. But Peter in 1985 also began working as a residential developer on Long Island, building several hundred single-family homes and developments.

“The housing market took a hit,” he said. “I switched over to multifamily residential, condominiums and rental complexes.”

He began pursuing commercial work, growing the business and doing buildouts across much of the nation. 

AMC Enterprises works for landlords and commercial tenants, handling everything from demolition to buildouts. 

“We’ve slowly and steadily increased our volume,” Dalaker added. “Over the last two or three years, we doubled or tripled what we do.”

His daughter Ashley Dalaker joined last September, running project management, and his daughter Courtney Scarola runs finance and legal.

Ed Kienle, director of new construction, manages and supervises projects. “He’s a key player,” Dalaker said. “Eddie is an integral part of our team.”

During the pandemic, the company had to deal with supply-side issues as construction continued full speed ahead.

“It might have taken a week to get something pre-Covid,” Scarola said. “During Covid and right after, it could take months. The lead times were extreme.”

AMC has become a big part of a retail revolution on Long Island as well as nationwide, doing work for numerous Shah’s Halal restaurants on Long Island, as well as Texas Roadhouses up and down the East Coast.

That’s in addition to Philly Pretzel Factories, Luxottica’s offices in Port Washington, Pulse-MD locations, and other medical projects — plus residential.

“We build the first one. They like how we perform,” Courtney said of the ability to build multiple locations. “They keep coming back to us for additional jobs.”

AMC currently has jobs in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Long Island and are gearing up for work in Maryland and New York City. 

The company just broke ground on an Old Navy store in Shirley and will be building out the flagship Long Island Insomnia Cookies in Uniondale near Hofstra University.

Peter Dalaker said the company, serving Long Island, the tristate area and up and down the East Coast, is busy getting new and repeat work.

“There’s a lot going on. It’s booming. The labor shortage is our biggest restriction,” he said. “Finding partners we can work with that can supply a labor force to do the work.”