News

April 24, 2015

LERCH BATES HIRES MAASS TO LEAD L.A. OFFICE

Lerch Bates Inc. has hired Melanie Maass to lead its Los Angeles (L.A.) office. She has more than 17 years of experience, including serving as sales, service and modernization manager for Otis in the San Francisco Bay and greater L.A./Orange County markets. She designed data-driven methods to increase company profits, and provided training and support to the company’s service, new-business and modernization departments. Among her degrees are a BS in Business Administration and International Business from San Francisco State University and an MA in Humanities and Leadership from the New College of California.

MCDONOUGH ELEVATOR ACQUIRES DENVER COMPANY

Houston-based McDonough Elevator Sales & Rentals, a division of McDonough Corp. that specializes in the industrial rack-and-pinion elevator market, has announced its acquisition of Rack and Pinion Elevator Service, based in Denver. McDonough said it plans to retain management, staff and existing contracts of the 40-year-old business, described by McDonough Elevator President Joe Galatas as “the premier industrial provider in the area, known for its customer focus and knowledge of all types of rack-and-pinion equipment.” Operations will remain in Denver.

TURKISH TOWER TO HAVE PAIR OF PANORAMIC ELEVATORS

A pair of panoramic elevators are to be part of Antalya Tower, an observation tower planned on Turkey’s southwest coast to coincide with the World Botanic Expo in April 2016, ArchDaily reports. Local architecture firm Nitelikli Tasarımlar Atölyesi (NITA) won a contest to design the tower, on which construction is expected to start later this year. Resembling a trio of pitcher plants and standing 100.7 m tall, the steel-façade design pays homage to the Hadrian’s Gate arches at the entrance to Antalya’s old town. The elevators “will allow breathtaking views of the surrounding city,” which welcomes approximately 10 million visitors each year.

April 23, 2015

NEW HIRES AT TEI

TEI Group has hired 10 new apprentices, some of whom are second-generation industry men. In welcoming them, CEO Mark Gregorio and Senior Executive Vice Presidents John Fichera and Mike Staub emphasized the importance of each employee continuing his education to be ready to meet the demands of the industry for years to come. They also expressed the imperative to work safely and achieve career advancement through required National Elevator Industry Educational Program training and the apprenticeship program offered by the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local #1.

LERCH BATES HIRES CONSULTANT FOR PHOENIX OFFICE

Lerch Bates Inc. has hired Mark Gustafson as a consultant in its Phoenix office. He has nearly 30 years of industry experience and, according to Lerch Bates CEO Bart Stephan, brings “valuable local knowledge of the Southwest’s intricate vertical-transportation industry” to the firm. He most recently served as chief elevator inspector for the City of Phoenix. His new role includes performing studies, construction services and contract management for the company in the Arizona and New Mexico markets. Gustafson attended Kansas State University and is a QEI.

SCHINDLER SUPPLYING FOUR ESCALATORS AT MEMPHIS AIRPORT

Schindler is supplying four escalators to replace outdated ones at the Memphis International Airport in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the Memphis-Shelby Airport Authority. The project, which includes demolition of existing escalators, was reported by the Memphis Business Journal, and the authority told ELEVATOR WORLD prime contractor LaGasse Construction hired Schindler as its primary subcontractor and supplier. The job is expected to take several months, during which time people will be rerouted from the ticket and baggage areas in Terminal B, within which the new units are going.

April 22, 2015

SCHINDLER TO OUTFIT COMCAST BUILDING WITH 54 UNITS

Schindler has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract by L.F. Driscoll Construction Managers & Builders to outfit the Comcast Innovation & Technology Center in Philadelphia with 54 units. The order consists of 31 7000 high-rise gearless, 11 mid-rise machine-room-less and two 330A hydraulic elevators, and 10 9300AE escalators. The system will utilize Schindler’s PORT destination-control technology. Upon completion, planned for the first quarter of 2018, the 59-story, 1,121-ft.-tall building will be the tallest in the U.S. outside of New York City and Chicago. It was designed by Lord Norman of Foster + Partners.  

CONSTRUCTION STARTS ON SEATTLE TOWER

Construction has begun on the 41-story Potala Tower in downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. Being built on the site of an old transmission shop, the tower is to house approximately 140 hotel rooms and 340 apartments. The developer is a former monk from Tibet, and a 2014 groundbreaking featured chanting monks and actor Tom Skerritt. The Weber Thompson-designed building is scheduled for completion in summer 2017.

SECOND-LARGEST RESIDENTIAL BUILDING IN MANHATTAN PLANNED

New renderings show the design of a multifaceted structure that will stand 440 ft. tall and have 42 floors at 606 West 57th Street in Manhattan, New York, New York YIMBY reports. Arquitectonica designed the structure, which, upon completion in 2017, is set to become the second-largest residential building in Manhattan. Developed by TF Cornerstone and part of a growing number of new residences in the West 57th Street area, the structure will have 1.2 million sq. ft. and more than 1,000 apartments.

April 21, 2015

13 UNITS FOR CHARBAGH STATION IN INDIA

Charbagh Railway Station in Lucknow, India, is set to get eight escalators and five lifts, The Times of India reports. The vertical transportation is set to join other amenities such as Wi-Fi and automatic ticket vending, which officials hope to have in place by July. Elevators are planned for platforms 1, 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7, and escalators at the first-class waiting hall and platforms 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7. Charbagh station was completed in 1923 and today is one of the busiest rail stations in India.

IMPRESSIVE SUPERTALL PROPOSED IN CHICAGO

On April 13, the public got its first look at an approximately 1,200-ft.-tall, 93-story hotel/condominium tower proposed for Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood, Curbed Chicago reports. In its current incarnation, Wanda Vista consists of three main tiers with a reflective façade. It would have approximately 400 residences and 170 hotel rooms. Studio Gang is the lead architect, and joint developers are Magellan Development of Chicago and Dalian Wanda Group of China. If built, it would become the third-tallest building in Chicago behind the Willis and Trump towers.

ECNY TO HOST ANNUAL SPRING DINNER DANCE

The Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY) plans to host its annual Spring Dinner Dance on May 15 at 7:30 p.m. The venue is The Villa Barone Manor at 737 Throgs Neck Expressway, Bronx, New York, 10465, and the cost is US$130 per person. Guests are encouraged to host “celebrations within the celebration,” such as anniversaries and retirements, during the event at no extra cost. For additional information, contact Robert “Bobby Dee” DeFrancesco at (718) 706-8665 or visit the ECNY website.

April 20, 2015

DEWAR PARTNERSHIP ADDS BURROWES, DOYLE TO TEAM

Dewar Partnership Ltd., the London-based subsidiary of Lerch Bates Inc., has hired vertical-transportation consultants Colin Burrowes and David Doyle. Burrowes has more than 30 years of industry experience. He has been an independent consultant and managed sales for KONE Great Britain and Otis subsidiaries The Express Lift Co. and Evans Lifts Ltd. Doyle recently served as portfolio sales manager for Schindler, where he grew the client base. He has also worked for ThyssenKrupp Elevator as a New Business Development manager. He is accredited with The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management.

DETAILS ON 2 WTC EMERGE

Rupert Murdoch’s media companies News Corp. and 21st Century Fox are considering building a joint headquarters in a new 88-story building at the World Trade Center (WTC), The New York Times recently reported. According to an ELEVATOR WORLD source, a deal has been struck with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Larry A. Silverstein involving a move by the companies from Midtown Manhattan, New York, to a new tower downtown, the construction of which would complete the rebuilding of the WTC site. To be known as 2 WTC, the office building would be built on the Port Authority’s land and developed by Silverstein.

THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR’S ENVIROMAX WINS AWARD

ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s enviromax®, a 99% petroleum-free hydraulic fluid, was recently named a Top Product of the Year by the trade publication Environmental Leader. ThyssenKrupp Elevator describes enviromax as “the elevator industry’s first performance-improving, 100% recyclable, vegetable-based hydraulic fluid for use in hydraulic elevators.” It was codeveloped with BioBlend Renewable Resources, LLC, specifically for the North American market.

April 17, 2015

OTIS WINS PHILADELPHIA W CONTRACT

Otis has been hired to provide and maintain 12 elevators for a new W Hotel being built in Philadelphia. The order consists of 10 SkyriseTM and two Gen2® units. The 52-story, 700-room project is scheduled for completion in 2017. Tudor Perini Building Corp. of Sylmar, California, is the general contractor.

KINGS III NAMES HEAD OF PALM BEACH AREA BUSINESS

Kings III Emergency Communications has named Jonathan Guise Business Development manager for Palm Beach and Martin and Collier counties in Florida. He has more than 10 years of medical and pharmaceutical sales experience. While attending Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, he played National Collegiate Athletic Association golf. He also studied abroad at Silliman University in the Philippines.

58-STORY CONDO TOWER FOR AUSTIN

The Independent, a 58-story, 685-ft.-tall condominium tower, is planned in downtown Austin, Texas, the Austin Business Journal reports. It is part of a western downtown redevelopment effort that has included other tall buildings. No timeframe has been announced. Designed by Austin’s Rhode: Partners, the tower will resemble a Jenga® game in that it will have various sections stacked atop one another. Should it be built, it will be the tallest building in Austin and the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River.

April 16, 2015

AEA TO RELEASE UPDATED AUSTRALIAN HANDBOOK

The Australian Elevator Association (AEA) will soon publish a new edition of its “Owner’s Handbook” or “Blue Book,” officially called Lifts and Escalators 2015. Noel Smith of the AEA Technical Committee (which put the book together) said the new edition was prompted by “changes in the products provided by our industry and a change in jurisdictional management of those products.” Intended readers are owners, installers and service providers who want to understand their responsibilities in relation to risk management for vertical-transportation equipment. The book will be available for Lift Engineering Society of Australia Inc. (LESA) members at the LESA website.

NYC SKINNY SUPERTALL INCHES UPWARD

What New York YIMBY describes as a future architectural icon in Midtown New York City (NYC) has gotten taller as it nears its 2017 completion. A new set of renderings for SHoP-designed residential tower 111 West 57th Street depict a 1,428-ft.-tall building, several feet taller than a previous estimate and taller than 432 Park Avenue, which topped out recently at 1,432 ft. as the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. The 60-ft. width of 111 West 57th will make it among the thinnest skyscrapers in the world. The units will be high-end, starting at US$14 million.

TOWER WILL BE TALLEST IN NYC NEIGHBORHOOD

A 31-story, 521-ft.-tall tower designed and developed by DDG promises to be the tallest in its East Side New York City (NYC) neighborhood, New York YIMBY reports. Featuring a handmade brick façade with cantilever and crown, the 180 East 88th Street building will house approximately 50 high-ceiled residences. A tenement on the site has been demolished, and completion is roughly anticipated in 2018.