Through Sal’s leadership and his devoted team, which he considers a tight knit family, that small construction company has expanded into a full service real estate development firm. MAS is now considered one of the go-to entities for the development of inner-cities in northern New Jersey. The company has since expanded to multiple divisions of MAS consist of MAS construction, MAS property management, MAS Development Group, and MAS Capital.
Perhaps Sal’s dedication to his craft can be attributed, at least in part, to his upbringing. The son of a Cuban American Family who migrated to the US with only the clothes on their back, overcoming adversity is not a novel experience to the Garcia’s. Instead Sal’s early experiences, inspired by his father’s wisdom have shaped the businessman who he has become today. Being a first-generation Cuban-American born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an urban area, he understands the needs and potential of these neighborhoods where he still chooses to live today. Or perhaps he chose to emulate his late father who instilled in him from a young age that “there are no problems, only situations” (an ideology that is memorialized on a bronze plaque hanging proudly on the entrance of his corporate offices). A strong commitment to the community, firm ethical stance, and a strong resolve for success form his approach, which marks his style of being a consciousness businessman. At the ripe age of 17 Sal began his journey to success by doing what he does best-taking the road less travelled.
After graduating high school, Sal’s passion for building and construction led him to forego academic studies at a prestigious university. Following his bliss, he formed a small construction company that focused on minor projects such as installing tiles and sheetrock, painting and snow plowing. Within one year, Sal purchased his “lucky dime” – a rooming house in the “bad” part of Elizabeth, New Jersey that was on the brink of condemnation. Six months later, and after countless days and nights pouring his blood, sweat and tears into renovations, Sal transformed the building into a profitable money stream. It was his first significant accomplishment that finally gave him the sense of vindication that he desperately yearned. But Sal’s compass only pointed one way – forward.
By the time he was 19 years old, Sal had a stellar reputation and people were regularly requesting his services. Although he wanted to focus on his own personal investments, he knew he did not yet have sufficient capital to do this exclusively. So he decided to continue building for others while simultaneously building and selling new multi-family homes in urban areas on his own behalf. He built and built and then built some more. This decision proved to be priceless as he amassed a mountain of knowledge that he would not have otherwise obtained.
But all this came to a screeching halt when tragedy struck in 2007. Sal’s dear friend and number one supporter, his father, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He put his career on hold and sold everything so he could focus 100% of his time with his family. When his father passed in late 2008 at the age of 52, Sal was a different, more mature man. But he quickly realized that housing and real estate had also changed, and that his prior business model was no longer sustainable. So he turned his attention to commercial real estate after a colleague introduced him to ICSC, and he has flourished ever since.
Despite his long list of notable professional accomplishments, you won’t know it from simply talking to him because he’d rather spend most of his time discussing his selfless contributions to society and how he can help others less fortunate than him. Against insurmountable odds, he refused to take “no” for an answer and earned the respect of his peers through hard work and determination.
Today, Sal is the principal of MAS (Spanish for “more”), which he founded, and currently heads all divisions, inclusion construction, property management, development, and capital Investments. Through Sal’s efforts, that small construction company, which focused mainly on minor residential projects, has grown into a full service real estate development firm that is considered one of the go-to entities for the development of inner-cities in northern New Jersey. So when others see a debilitating structure that needs to be demolished, Sal sees a blank canvas waiting to be filled with color. And when others say an area is too dangerous or riddled with crime, he marches forward undaunted and uncovers the positives that others either can’t or choose not to see. You see, to Sal, the glass is always “half full,” and he doesn’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of him proving it.