1180 6th Avenue Modification Project

Project by Unitec


New York

Date completed on April 1, 2022

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Commercial property isn’t difficult to find in New York City. A short walk in any direction and you’ll run into your share of sky-reaching buildings. While they are easy to locate, not all of them are the same. Many were built a century or more ago, while newer construction continues to pop up in different areas of the city. Unitec Elevator is familiar with many of the existing commercial properties, and you can find their work in several commercial buildings throughout New York. One of its more recent jobs took place at 1180 6th Avenue. Built in 1963 in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan, this particular commercial building contains 22 stories within its 25,000 sq. ft. dimensions. The property has its fair share of visitor traffic, a point the building owners took to heart when they considered the condition of their elevators. Ken Margherini, the vice president of business development for Unitec, saw the elevators firsthand when Craven Management Corp., the property owner’s representatives, selected his company for the bid to provide a full modernization of the building’s nine elevators. Margherini described them as being outdated, and with a Destination Dispatch system that the original equipment manufacturer could only service. “The Schindler system was proprietary, so only they could maintain it,” he said. “That wasn’t a long-term solution for the client.”

No. of Elevators
Years with Customer
3 Years
Project Duration
I Stock 1150530373
I Stock 639020152
I Stock 1150530373
I Stock 639020152
The Challenge

Having a commercial property in New York is only beneficial if it is an attractive place for a business to operate from. Given the size of the city, business owners have an abundance of properties to consider.

That’s why the owners of 1180 6th Avenue didn’t want to wait until the current business tenants became frustrated with the subpar elevators. Through Craven Management, they enlisted Unitec, who did not have a direct relationship with them at the time. But Unitec did have a great track record in New York.

Originally founded in 1966, Unitec is an independent elevator service company specializing in non-proprietary equipment. They offer a wide array of maintenance elements for commercial and residential properties. Unitec’s reputation is built upon its innovation and work ethic, which have earned the company glowing testimonials and stellar word-of-mouth across the Big Apple.

“We have great relationships with several property owners in New York,” Margherini said.

Craven Management only knew of Unitec by name but commissioned them to handle the project at 1180 6th Avenue. The job consisted of the full modernization of eight passenger elevators and one freight elevator. Aside from the challenges that come with full modernizations, Unitec also ended up having to handle most of the project within the time frame of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The job officially began in the fall of 2019. The pandemic started impacting New York in March 2020.

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The Experience

The pandemic restrictions initially put a strain on Unitec’s staff. The team had to wear masks and always maintain a 6-foot-or-greater distance from each other. If someone on the staff became ill, they were unable to work until they recovered.

“COVID was a major challenge,” said Mike Scotko, Unitec’s vice president of modernization.

These safety protocols created a logistical nightmare at first, leaving Unitec scrambling to coordinate the many jobs associated with the project, such as steelwork, shaft extension and rebuilding of the motor rooms.

But with the pandemic came a benefit. Because many businesses were shut down and elevator employees were deemed essential workers, Unitec spent most of its hours working in an empty building. That gave them free rein to tackle multiple tasks without worrying about making too much noise or having to accommodate the schedules of tenants and guests, who would frequently access the elevators.

“Handling a job like this is much easier when the building is empty,” Margherini said. “We could take out multiple cars at a time. We didn’t have to worry about freight packages coming in and out all the time.

“You’re dealing with a Class A office building,” he said, adding that the lobby also underwent changes during this process. “Some buildings are very particular about what you can do during the day but we were able to work with less restrictions.”

The original completion date was set for the end of 2021, but due to the challenges from COVID-19, Unitec finished the job in early 2022. Despite the slight delay, Margherini and Scotko said the project went over well without too many setbacks.

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The Result

Unitec doesn’t have to wonder if the property owners of 1180 6th Avenue appreciated the job they did. After they wrapped up the project, they received another one at 100 Broadway, nestled in the heart of New York’s financial district, with the New York Stock Exchange one block away.

Scotko couldn’t be happier with the way their first assignment with a new customer played out.

“The 1180 6th Avenue project formulated a new relationship with a new customer and we got more work from them,” he said. “We worked with a good contracting team and good building personnel. That always makes the job easier.”

Margherini credits the veteran experience of the Unitec team for the success they had on the job.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” Margherini said. “I’ve been in this business 40 years. This isn’t our first rodeo.

“To me, we know what we’re doing. If we do our job right, it’s not a big deal for us. We were very satisfied with how the job came out.”

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