Chris Kalargios’ father started a painting company in the early 1980s. Chris had been planning for a career in finance, which he studied at college, but an internship with one of his father’s clients - a reputable interior designer in NYC - peaked his interest in the real estate and design industry. “I decided to join my father and expand his business. I honed my skills and knowledge by pursuing a master's at NYU in management and construction management, while getting practical experience working for Orion by day.”
"I take pride in my work. I really enjoy working on projects with great architects and designers whose vision transforms a blank space into something unique.” - Chris Kalargios
We asked Kalargios about his favorite aspect of working in the industry in New York. “My favorite part of construction is framing because it is the point when we start to do layouts and execute our client’s vision. I take pride in my work. I really enjoy working on projects with great architects and designers whose vision transforms a blank space into something unique.”
The highs and lows of working in NYC are many. For construction firms like Orion, parking, deliveries, freight elevators, building hours and access limitations can interfere with project scheduling. “We try to minimize that by anticipating problems and thinking ahead. Through experience and already being familiar with many NYC buildings, I plan accordingly for realistic deadlines,” Kalargiros explains.
When it all comes together, the appeal of the trade is easy to see. “One of my favorite projects I recently worked on was a commercial place for Skowhegan Art School. There was a really interesting vision where the board of directors wanted to incorporate elements from their original location in Maine, with office and event space in NYC. The architectural team and board were great to work with and we built an excellent space.”
As in many long standing family businesses, relationships are key. Nowhere is this truer than in the construction industry where unforeseen challenges or the wrong partnerships can sink a project. “You hear so many stories about contractors being crooks. We try our best to stand by our word and our work. We feel the only way to get new business and keep our business growing is by referrals and executing our client’s vision.”