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Raising the roof is no easy task.

Installing a new four-level roof on a 1.1 million-square-foot building is a bit more involved than putting new shingles on your summer Cottage.

At 1185 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, for example, it requires removing some 51 tons of roof, and replacing it with 37-1/2 tons.

"Removing the roof, and replacing it, is an exhaustive process," says Donald B. Kaplan, executive vice president of W & M Properties, Inc., leasing and managing agent for the building. "But, then, our roof was keeping out the rain when Richard Nixon was President, the original 'Godfather' was a hit movie, the Mets were about to win their second pennant, and the first 'oil shock' was looming on the eastern horizon."

Work to replace the roof, which has been essentially unchanged since the building was erected in 1971, began in August and is to be completed this month.

As with many New York office buildings, the roof on 1185 consists of a permanent concrete deck covered by many layers of tar, tar paper, asphalt and stone. These serve as an excellent barrier to the elements.

"First, we had to tear up approximately 25,000 square feet of old roof, put it in bags, and take them down the freight elevator," says Mr. Kaplan. "All carting is being confined to weekends so as not to inconvenience tenants. A temporary membrane keeps water out while the work is underway.

"Next, we bring up tar, asphalt and stone to re-cover the deck. It is especially important to have a tight seal around any pipes, ducts, beams, etc. that penetrate the concrete deck. Obviously, they are the easiest places for water to "seep in."

Mr. Kaplan also notes the convenience of this work being done by W & M's in-house construction company, "Because of our in-houSe capabilities, our own people here perform and supervise all the work, and coordinate directly with the tenants in the building," he says.

Few roofs last as long as the one at 1185 Avenue of the Americas, points out Mr. Kaplan.

"Years of harsh freezes followed by thaws, and sometimes extreme heat, can cause leaks," he notes. "These not only affect the tenant on the top floor, but can get into electrical systems and ducts, causing serious damage to the entire building."

Located between 46th and 47th Streets, 1185 Avenue of the Americas enjoys a Superb location with an in-building Rockefeller Center subway-concourse entrance, prestigious tenants, solid ownership and the distinguished neighborhood of Rockefeller Center.

W&M Properties is the real estate management, marketing and acquisition arm of the Malkin family, which has commercial and residential operations in six states.
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Title Annotation:1.1 million-square-foot office building at 1185 Avenue of the Americas receive new roof
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 13, 1993
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