The Ups and Downs

You’re thinking about this great space for a new office lease and everything looks perfect. Class A building, 13-foot ceilings, perfect layout, and a great price. So, you start planning out that potential commute. You see that you need to take a train into Grand Central and a subway from there. Not bad. You can do it all in an hour at peak traffic times door to door. Do you pull the trigger on the deal? NOT YET.

You haven’t looked into the building’s elevator service yet!

More important than you may think. Bad elevator service in a building not only packs you in like sardines and gets your day off to a bad start, but it can actually extend your commuting time! So, without further ado, let’s dive into some things to look out for with elevators.


Elevators can get cramped. The last thing you want after a long bus ride and sweaty subway trip is to get pinned up against an elevator wall and have to push your way out. Make sure the elevators in your prospective building are NOT reminiscent of a vacuum-packed lunch.


How many elevators are there? This is a critical question but entirely subjective to the building’s size. 2 elevators serving 10 floors is going to be tight. Generally speaking, the floor to elevator ratio should be roughly 2:1 (sometimes 2.5:1), meaning those 10 floors should have 4 or 5 elevators serving them.


Thankfully, many buildings have express elevators. But if you’re on the 15th floor of your building and the elevator bank (a group of elevators serving certain floors) you’re a part of is local, you may have to sit through 14 prior stops before you can get off. That sucks. If your building has express elevators, you’ll have a MUCH easier time. That means if you’re on the 15th floor of your building, the elevator bank would serve only floors 8-16. Not nearly as many stops. Those elevators will be less crowded, more comfortable, quicker, and more efficient.


I am stunned by how many people haven’t heard of destination dispatch. I’ve spoken to brokers that have no idea what it is. Simply put, destination dispatch is when you walk into your elevator, press your floor, and it goes straight there. Not only that, but the only people who can even get to your floor are those with clearance. Better security, more efficiency, and an awesome luxury.


Make sure you do some due diligence. Go to your prospective building and count the elevators. See if they’re divided up by banks labeled with specific floors (that means they’re express). Ask the security guards if the elevators are destination dispatch. And most importantly, GO DURING RUSH HOUR.

Let’s be real, you CANNOT get a sense of the elevators and your commute in the middle of the day. Check it out when you would be coming in every day. See what kind of traffic there is and what you’re getting yourself into.

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