Kanta Electric: Leaving An Electrical Footprint In NYC

BY JORDAN GIBBONS
Staff Writer

Kanta Electric is a third-generation electrical contracting firm that has left its footprint all over New York City. In 1991, Prakash Kapadia started the company in Woodside. He is now the president, and his two sons, Parag, assistant controller, and Paras, project engineer in the estimating department, help him run the company.

Most of Kanta’s work is contracted through the City and State governments and a good portion of their work is done in schools through contracts with the School Construction Authority, Parag said. For one of these contracts, they installed new fire alarms and P.A. systems, and upgraded the auditorium electrical system at Jamaica High School.

 Paras Kapadia accepting a Small Business Achievement Award on behalf of Kanta Electric. Photo by Walter Karling


Paras Kapadia accepting a Small Business Achievement Award on behalf of Kanta Electric. Photo by Walter Karling

In the last couple of years, Kanta completed a contract for the Port Authority at LaGuardia Airport during the redevelopment for Delta’s C and D terminals.

They also completed a project for American Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport. They have installed a state-of-the-art emergency generator system throughout American Airlines’ entire terminal.

Kanta also played a role in the construction of 2 Gotham Center, currently under construction in Long Island City, which will replace the unused Queens Plaza Municipal Parking Garage with a mixed-use office facility.

“We formed in Queens and we’ve always been a part of Queens,” Parag said.

A large amount of the work they are doing now is in the Bronx, as several large jobs have come their way. They are approaching the completion of a three to four year job, upgrading the electrical infrastructure at the Bronx Family-Criminal Courthouse, which is a fully operational building, 24 hours a day.

“It’s very challenging,” Parag said. “We have to make sure the work that we do doesn’t affect the workers in the building at all times.”

They are currently in a partnership with the Dormitory Authority of New York in the redevelopment of the Bronx Psychiatric Center. Kanta is focused on providing the power needed to run the project’s state-of-the-art facilities, with an emphasis on efficiency and sustainability. There are four new buildings under construction, which can cause a variety of complications, Parag said. The facilities are slated to be complete in August 2015.

In 2007, one of their most significant jobs was when they were selected as the first electrical contractor in New York City to install building-mounted windmills at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“It proved we had the capacity to take on large, alternate energy projects,” Parag said.

They followed that up with the installation of a roof solar panel system for the New York City Economic Development Corporation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

More recently, they have been expanding into the private sector by getting contracts from large management firms such as UBS Financial Services.

“We’re proud to be a third generation electrical construction company,” Parag said. “We have the right team for the work; we’re heavily focused on growth. It’s been a great journey.”

Reach Jordan Gibbons at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123, jgibbons@queenspress.com or @jgibbons2.