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COLES TO LEAD EHC'S NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS
EHC Global, an Oshawa, Canada-based manufacturer of escalator handrails and other components for the vertical-transportation (VT) industry, has named Jeff Coles managing director of North American Operations, the company recently announced. Coles has some 20 years of management experience in the VT industry, beginning in service sales and business development with Schindler in 1998. From 2003 to 2012, he held several progressive management positions at Schindler and was appointed president of Schindler Canada in 2012. He also served as Schindler’s North American vice president, Modernization. From 2015 to 2018, he was vice president, Central Region, at thyssenkrupp Elevator. Coles, who will report directly to EHC President and CEO Jeno Eppel, holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa and a BA in Political Science from McMaster University.
NYC MTA PLANS BILLIONS IN SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
The NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled a US$51.5-billion plan to improve the system, Curbed New York reports. The investment, the largest in the agency's history, was revealed in its 2020-2024 capital plan. Under the proposal, the subway system (including the Staten Island Railway) would receive the largest portion — US$37.3 billion — which would go to signal modernization along six subway lines, the purchase of 1,900 new subway cars, track replacement and improvements to stations, including making 70 of them Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible and revamping 175 in projects that include elevator and escalator replacements. The plan also includes the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway, which will get its final installment to build three new, fully accessible stations and a new connection to the Metro-North Railroad. The MTA is the largest public transit authority in the U.S. Each weekday, its trains and buses carry more that 11 million people, and it collects tolls from 850,000 vehicles on seven bridges and two tunnels.
REBUILT ICONIC HOTEL REOPENS IN TOKYO
The Okura Hotel, a Tokyo landmark, has been reborn with a blend of old and new structures that preserved much of the original building's decor, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports. The original Okura, which opened its doors in 1962, in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was a luxury hotel that was beloved for its Japanese ambiance. A plan to rebuild the hotel, in conjunction with further development, meant the original building would be demolished, but architect Yoshio Taniguchi, son of the hotel's designer, went to great lengths to preserve as many of the artistic touches as possible. The rebuilt hotel includes the Heritage Wing, an original structure, and a new, 41-story Okura Prestige Tower. The complex also includes a new 18-story office tower, clad in glass (as is the Prestige Tower), and a museum. The project, which was completed on a timeline with an eye toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, cost JPY110 billion (US$1 billion).
TALLEST RESIDENTIAL TOWER IN NYC TOPS OUT
Construction on Central Park Tower, the tallest residential building in NYC, has topped out at 1,550 ft, giving the supertall the highest roof in the Western Hemisphere, New York YIMBY reports. The slim, reinforced concrete structure also known as 217 West 57th Street will join other posh addresses along what has come to be known as Billionaires' Row and will include a Nordstrom department store at its lower levels. The building's glass curtain wall is continuing to make good progress and is only a few floors below the top. The building is expected to be complete next year, but the Nordstrom store is scheduled to open on October 24. Central Park Tower is being developed by Extell and was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.