News

August 24, 2016

APEX LIFTS WELCOMES EMPLOYEES TO COMPANY, INDUSTRY

Apex Lifts, headquartered in London, recently welcomed three new employees to the company and lift industry. They are Emma Barnard, bid coordinator; Ami Freeman, service coordinator; and Amber Reynolds, repair sales consultant. In addition to writing bids, Barnard is assisting with marketing and promotional activities. Freeman supports engineers located in the London area and coordinates calls to help ensure service, maintenance and emergencies are documented. Reynolds’ main duty is analyzing insurance reports and advising clients on their next steps. Noting the new employees’ enthusiasm and productivity, Apex Managing Director Warren Jenchner said he is thrilled to have them on board.

CEA ANNOUNCES, REVISES EVENTS

The Chicago Elevator Association (CEA) is holding its next meeting on September 1 at 6:30 p.m. at The Clubhouse in Oak Brook, Illinois. This reflects a change in time and location. CEA will also be holding an event involving Tri-Tronics on October 6, a Chicago Code Update on November 3 and a Christmas Party on December 7. To RSVP for the events, email or call (708) 371-2477. 

BART’S “ELEVATORS AS BATHROOMS” BATTLE CONTINUES

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco plans to spend US$340,000 in its third and latest attempt to address the issue of people using the system’s elevators as bathrooms, ABC 7 News reports. The remedy involves a non-toxic, urine-resistant coating that will be sprayed on the floors of 80 of BART’s 127 elevators. Riders observed the problem is unlikely to go away soon unless the homelessness issue is addressed. BART plans to have the coating in place by April 2017.

August 23, 2016

KAJE NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF KONE IR, OTHER CHANGES

Sanna Kaje has been named vice president of Investor Relations (IR) at KONE, effective September 1. She joins KONE from Finnish construction company YIT with an extensive background in IR and finance. Katri Saarenheimo, who has been director of IR since 2014, is moving to a new role in the Global Maintenance division. Karla Lindahl will now focus on KONE’s strategic direction and development after serving as vice president for Strategy Development and IR. Kaje and Lindahl report directly to KONE Chief Financial Officer Ilkka Hara.

JERSEY CITY PLAN GROWS, GETS HEIGHT BUMP

Kushner Cos.’ One Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, was originally intended to be a pair of 50-story buildings but has morphed into 56- and 79-story towers, the shorter of which is under construction, New York YIMBY reports. Together, One Journal Square will house more than 1,700 residential units in the structures designed by Woods Bagot. There will also be retail, office and parking space. With the 56-story building projected to be complete in 2018, the project promises to be among the tallest on the growing Journal Square skyline. No timeframe was given for the taller building.

WASHINGTON MONUMENT ELEVATOR SHUTS DOWN

The elevator at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is being examined by technicians through at least late August as technicians try to find out why it breaks down so frequently, The Washington Post reports. The National Park Service (NPS) has closed the monument until then. The elevator, described as a workhorse due to the full loads it carries all day, nearly every day, has been out of service since August 17, following several malfunctions in July and August. Technicians are now inspecting and cleaning the hoistway and checking circuit breakers, and the NPS says it plans to replace the system’s dated control system soon.

August 22, 2016

SCHMERSAL BÖHNKE + PARTNER JOINS WITH CZECH OUTFIT

Schmersal Böhnke + Partner has joined with 2N TELEKOMUNIKACE a.s. of Prague, Czechoslovakia, to market 2N’s intercom systems for door communication and emergency calls. The systems, Lift1 and Lift8, provide both simple and complex solutions for emergency communications, and are compliant with European standards. Observing that the products can be sold all over the world, Schmersal Böhnke + Partner Product Manager Christiane Luning said they promise to provide added value for the company’s clients.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT SMRT ESCALATOR OVERHAUL

Singapore Business Review has provided additional details about the overhaul of 233 escalators within the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) system that is introducing dual-speed units. Scheduled to take place through 2021, the contract was awarded to Otis Singapore for SGD47.3 million (US$3.2 million). The upgrade includes new parts such as traction motors and traffic lights that indicate travel direction. The first SMRT stations to get upgrades will be Ang Mo Kio, Tanah Merah and Tanjong Pagar.

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN HOTELS CONTINUE TO MULTIPLY

The hotel market in downtown Austin, Texas, is growing, with 1,000 new rooms coming online that include a 30-story, 615-room Marriott near the Austin Convention Center downtown, the Austin American-Statesman reports. White Lodging Services Corp. of Merrillville, Indiana, is the developer of both the Marriott and a shorter hotel near the University of Texas. Although the market has absorbed approximately 1,500 new rooms since the start of 2015, occupancy and rates remain strong. White Lodging plans to break ground on the Marriott in May 2017 ahead of a 2019 opening.

August 19, 2016

NAESA SCHEDULE TO KEEP ATTENDEES BUSY

For the fifth year, NAESA International is teaming with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services for an educational symposium for inspectors, mechanics, consultants and others with a vested interest in the elevator industry. The Wisconsin Elevator Symposium will be held at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on October 13-14. NAESA has also planned its Regional Fall Workshops, which will take place in Philadelphia on September 16-17 (Eastern Region); Bettendorf, Iowa, on September 30-October 1 (Central Region); and Allen, Texas, on October 7-8 (Western Region). It will also be holding QEI Training Courses and Exams in Hanover, Maryland, on September 26-30 (applications due on September 2); Clearwater Beach, Florida, on October 17-21 (applications due on September 23); and Phoenix on November 14-18 (applications due on October 21).

TALLEST BUILDING IN GRAND RAPIDS PROPOSED

Design details are being hammered out for a 40-story, 420-ft.-tall mixed-use building in the historic district of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Michigan Live reports. If built, it would be the city’s tallest. Historic preservationists had previously signed off on the building’s height but were scheduled to review design details on August 17 before approving the project. Portage, Michigan-based Hinman Co. is the developer of the building, which would have up to 140 hotel rooms on the first 10 floors with approximately 250 apartments above.

EW FOCUSES ON COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

ELEVATOR WORLD will focus on communication systems for its November issue. The magazine will also include a Continuing Education article for which readers can receive credit by passing an included exam. The deadline for submissions is September 15. To participate or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or email: editorial@elevatorworld.com. To advertise, contact ext. 38 or advertising@elevatorworld.com.

August 18, 2016

HIDRAL USA HIRES CARCICH TO GROW NY AREA BUSINESS

Hidral USA has hired Vivian Carcich as its Regional New Business Development manager for the New York tri-state area. She was responsible for the startup of Fabian USA Inc., where she served as vice president. Carcich has extensive experience in the development and introduction of foreign products into the North American market. Hidral observes that, in such a fast-paced industry, Carcich quickly built a network of clients consisting of contractors, architects, developers and consultants. Carcich holds a certificate in interior design from Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus.

OTIS TO OUTFIT NEW MARRIOTT HOTEL IN CHINA

Otis Elevator (China) Co. Ltd. continues its momentum in China with an order to outfit Marriott Xiamen EDITION with 30 elevators and escalators. Taking shape in the coastal city of Xiamen, the hotel will feature a vertical-transportation system that includes seven SkyRiseTM elevators traveling at up to 6 mps. Otis Elevator China President Luis Molina notes that Marriott has exceptionally high standards, and that Otis is proud to have worked closely with the hotel chain on many projects around the world.

LAST MONTH FOR EW PROJECT OF THE YEAR SUBMISSIONS

Entries for the ELEVATOR WORLD Project of the Year Awards 2017 will be accepted through August 31, 2016. This is the last date for projects to be considered for winning one of nine categories, “Elevators, New Construction”; “Elevators, Modernization”; “Escalators, New Construction”; “Escalators, Modernization”; “Moving Walks”; “Inclined Elevators”; “Platform Lifts & Stairway Chairlifts”; “Private-Residence Elevators”; and “Special Purpose Lifts,” to win an award and be recognized in a feature story in the January 2017 issue. The contest is open for projects that have been completed within the past two years and must include a bound hard copy, one CD or flash drive with both text and photos, and a completed entry form. To download the form and obtain more information, visit website.

August 17, 2016

UNIQUE WORK IS THE FOCUS AT MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC PLANT

Sales of custom products, such as elevators with Islamic designs and spiral escalators, represent only 1% of Mitsubishi Electric’s total sales, but at its Inazawa Works factory in Japan, these products are the focus, The Japan Times reports. Company officials said such work is important, because it enhances Mitsubishi Electric’s image and often leads to additional orders for other products. Spiral escalators can cost up to 20 times as much as regular ones. The company usually receives approximately three spiral-escalator orders per year but recently delivered 12 to a department store in Shanghai. Hotels and high rises in the Middle East are big customers of Islamic-themed elevators.

FIVE-TOWER DEVELOPMENT PLANNED IN MANCHESTER

Trinity Islands, a five-tower development containing approximately 1,230 apartments on 4.7 acres in the St. John’s neighborhood of Manchester, U.K., is being planned by Allied London, North West Place reports. Designed by Child Graddon Lewis, the buildings would range from 20 to 38 stories and sit atop two podiums. Planner Deloitte intends to submit an application to the city of Manchester by the fall, and, if all goes well, Trinity Islands will be part of the overall St. John’s redevelopment, the final phase of which is set to wrap up in 2022.

ANOTHER DOWNTOWN CHICAGO RESIDENTIAL TOWER PLANNED

Chicago’s Murphy Development announced it has partnered with CIM Group of Los Angeles to develop a glassy 46-story residential tower at 1326 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop area downtown, Curbed Chicago reports. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) and bearing a resemblance to Studio Gang’s emerging Vista Tower, 1326 S. Michigan would contain approximately 500 rental units, retail and parking. CIM is developing several other residential high rises in Chicago, and it hopes its stake in 1326 S. Michigan will help the project land financing.

August 16, 2016

SETTLEMENT CLEARS WAY FOR NYC’S ONE VANDERBILT

The settlement of a lawsuit between the owners of Grand Central Terminal and SL Green Really Corp., developer of the 1,401-ft.-tall One Vanderbilt office tower just west of the terminal in East Midtown, New York City (NYC), means the project can again move forward, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit involved air rights of which terminal owner Midtown TDR Ventures believed it had been deprived. When a new owner acquired a stake in TDR, the settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed, was reached. The building’s estimated completion date is in 2020.

LIFTS WITH BRAILLE, ARDS GAIN POPULARITY IN INDIA

Although more prevalent in the West, lifts equipped with Braille-enabled call buttons and automatic rescue devices (ARDs) are becoming more popular in new residential projects in India as awareness about that country’s aging and disabled populations grows, the Hindustan Times reports. It was observed that, by 2026, India will be home to approximately 170 million senior citizens and that currently, approximately 30 million of them live alone. Further, approximately 2% of India’s population has a disability. Newer developments, such as Vivarea in Mumbai, boast features such as elevators with audio systems and Braille, and the trend is expected to continue.

BRUSSELS METRO STRUGGLES WITH AGING ESCALATORS

The 579 escalators within the Brussels metro system are, on average, 32 years old, and the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Co. (STIB) has been striving to update them, The Bulletin reports. In 2015, 25 new escalators were installed, and STIB plans to replace 14 per year. The 15 repair technicians STIB employs are dispatched at least 110 times per day to fix escalators within the system.