Tenants Are ‘Like Family to Me’

Max Correa Jr. builds intergenerational relationships with tenants and owners.

| 18 Oct 2023 | 12:52

Max Correa Jr. has built relationships with households that span generations. He’s been based at two large condominium buildings on the Union Turnpike in Queens for 40 years, where he lives and serves as the superintendent. “Look! That’s grandpa Max!” is a popular refrain from residents with young children.

Recently, Correa’s co-workers surprised him with a plaque for forty years of service, which was handed over during the opening celebration for a new community room. “I wasn’t expecting that,” he said, adding that the “families that live here, they’re like family to me. I don’t see them as tenants or owners.”

Correa says he loves to help people, and he isn’t shy about having favorites: “I care more about the elderly people; people that live by themselves. I make sure I always look out for them. If somebody young comes here, I treat them the same way.”

His days are long. Correa is responsible for hundreds of apartments, not to mention the rest of the complex. “I’ve got the swimming pool, I’ve got the gym, I’ve got the community room, I’ve got two commercial places in the front, and I’ve got the day school. I take care of all of that on my own,” he clarifies.

As for the best task that can fall into his lap? “I can paint every day if they want me to,” he said. Putting gravel down? Much less enjoyable. Even worse is when it snows, he explained, because he can’t leave until conditions improve and the traffic circle leading to the garage is usable. “If it’s 14 hours, 16 hours, 24 hours, 26 hours? I have to be here. The longest day was 26 hours, because of a snow storm in ‘95,” Correa recalled.

When he gets some vacation time, he heads with his wife to two out-of-state homes (one in Honduras, the other in Puerto Rico). On weekends, he likes to visit his brother-in-law, brother, or his son. “We don’t go to movies,” he explained, preferring to enjoy his family’s uninterrupted company.