The two rode the elevator down to the building's basement about 3:30 p.m., at which point the suspect brandished the sheers to force her out of the lift and tried to rape her, according to the NYPD.
But he was "unable to complete his act and fled," a police spokesman said.
The victim did not appear to have been injured in the attack, cops added.
The suspect, whom cops describe as in his 30s, was last spotted wearing black clothing and a beanie.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).