Whether strolling to work, taking an afternoon walk, or simply heading to the neighborhood pizza shop for a bite, you’ve probably seen someone from Communications Workers of America Local 1182 hard at work. Doing what, you ask? Issuing tickets, violations, and even towing your car – always keeping the city in check.
As one of the largest labor unions in America, the CWA has more than 700,000 members nationally. Local 1182, in particular, has about 3,000 members in New York City.
Of course, they don’t always win popularity contests among parking-hungry residents and business owners. Still, for decades, they’ve served an essential purpose in the fabric and identity of New York City.
The union called 108-18 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills home for over a decade. However, as time passed, they realized they would benefit from a more convenient, central Manhattan location. As Manhattan rents declined, it was an ideal chance for Local 1182 to secure a more convenient location for their team. So, they contacted our team, and we got to work.
The Search for the Right Space
Our collaboration with Local 1182 started in December 2022. We worked closely with President Rahim Sayed and Vice President Alex Sadik. Together, we examined roughly a dozen buildings in the Financial District, Garment District, and Accessory District. Our goal was to find a space that satisfied their architectural, budgetary, and geographic requirements.
Local 1182 had several objectives:
- Hold meetings once or twice a month with about 35 union members and officers attending.
- To be in a building with an attended lobby and good security.
- To find a space with a landlord willing to improve it, including offices with full glass walls.
- Negotiating economically advantageous terms and benefitting from the current tenant market.
A New Home at 55 West 39th Street
After much deliberation, Local 1182 settled on leasing 4,000 square feet of the partial 11th floor at 55 West 39th Street. This building is owned by Steinberg & Pokoik, a prominent New York City landlord, with properties such as 1430 Broadway and 575 Madison Avenue under their belt. The lease term agreed upon was five years, providing the union with a stable, central Manhattan location to continue administrative tasks involved with a union with several thousand members.
A Win-Win for Tenant and Landlord
Established labor unions, such as Local 1182, make attractive tenants for commercial landlords. Their stability and longevity are key factors—many business tenants (tech companies, companies owned by individuals) do not have longevity as tenants, or are unlikely to remain as tenants for decades. Furthermore, unions typically face fewer financial difficulties than smaller businesses or advertising agencies. As a result, this creates a win-win situation for both tenant and landlord, fostering a successful partnership for years.
The Benefits of Local 1182
Local 1182 provides various benefits for its members, making its new location even more crucial. With a more accessible, centralized Manhattan location, the union can continue to offer these valuable services and support to its members while maintaining the high standards that New Yorkers have expected.
The Key Takeaway
From the streets of Queens to the heart of Manhattan, the relocation journey of Communications Workers of America Local 1182 was both exciting and challenging. Working closely with their leadership, we helped find a commercial building that met their needs and aligned with their vision. As they settle into their new home at 55 West 39th Street, we look forward to seeing Local 1182 continue to serve New York City with the same dedication and professionalism that have made them an icon in the Big Apple.