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Feb. 26, 2018

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Otis parent company United Technologies Corp. (UTC) is considering breaking up its elevator, jet-engine and air-conditioning business units in an effort to increase company value, various news agencies, including Reuters, report. UTC CEO Greg Hayes said at an investor conference in Miami on February 21 that a decision will be made by the end of 2018. Hayes had previously indicated a review would take place only after UTC closes on its acquisition of avionics and interiors manufacturer Rockwell Collins Inc., anticipated in the third quarter. If the companies split, Otis would generate up to US$13 billion in sales, versus up to $50 billion from aerospace and up to $18 billion from air-conditioning.


JPMorgan Chase announced on February 21 that it plans to replace its 52-story world headquarters with a new, 70-story building on the same site between 47th and 48th streets at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown East in New York City (NYC), various news outlets, including The New York Times, report. It will be the first tower to rise under new zoning rules aimed at sparking development of modern skyscrapers in the densely populated business district surrounding Grand Central Terminal. Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the announcement, which promises to bring "good jobs, modern buildings and concrete improvements" to the neighborhood. The bank's 15,000 area employees will be relocated to the new building. Demolition of the current 1961 building, which will be the largest purposely demolished building in world history, is expected to commence in early 2019, with the new headquarters complete approximately five years later.


The topping out of the 51-story One Taikoo Place office tower in Hong Kong on February 1 marked a milestone for developer Swire Properties, which plans to build an additional eight towers, all connected by air-conditioned, elevated walkways, in Taikoo Place, Building Journal reports. “Built to the highest sustainability standards,” the source stated, One Taikoo Place has landed two international companies (including Facebook) that have reserved more than half of its 1 million sq. ft. Wong & Ouyang Ltd. designed the structure, which boasts panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and plenty of natural light. Completion is anticipated in the third quarter.


The Elevator Conference of New York (ECNY), in partnership with NAESA International, plans to offer ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators & Escalators, a one-day educational seminar for ECNY members, who can choose April 18 or 19 at Villa Barone Manor, 737 Throgs Neck Expressway, Bronx, New York 10465. Providing a total of 10 hr. (1.0 CEU) that will meet requirements for 2018 QEI certification renewal, the program is from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and includes lunch. ECNY anticipates a strong response, so those interested are encouraged to register early. The cost is US$295 person, and registration forms and fees must be received by March 19. For additional information, visit the ECNY website or email.

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