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NYC RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL MAKING QUICK PROGRESS
A Ritz-Carlton Hotel going up at Broadway and West 28th Street in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City (NYC) is making quick progress, with the foundation and basement floor having reached street level, New York YIMBY reported on March 21. The US$500-million skyscraper, designed by Rafael Viñoly, will eventually rise 40 stories, to a 580-ft. height. It will include 250 guest rooms and 16 residential units within its 150,000 sq. ft. Amenities include a spa, a fitness center, bicycle parking, a public ground-floor restaurant and bar, and a rooftop bar. The design includes overhanging shrubs and plants on almost every level, and a public, landscaped plaza outside the hotel's main entrance. The project is being developed by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Flag Luxury Properties, and interior design is by Yabu Pushelberg. Completion is expected in late 2020 or early 2021.
ELEVATOR, ESCALATOR CUTS AT STATION BRING COMPLAINTS
Citing concerns about accessibility, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council has passed a resolution asking the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to reconsider the elimination of elevators, escalators, stairs and a ramp from the Union Square station, part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) rapid transit Green Line Extension project. Wicked Local Cambridge reported the council took the action March 18 after fielding complaints about an MBTA decision to eliminate the accessibility features over budgetary concerns. The authority has said because the station has an at-grade entrance, the cuts do not restrict accessibility. Councilor Denise Simmons noted, however, that the cuts will make access more difficult for people who use wheelchairs, canes and walkers because they will have to travel a greater distance to access the station. The city, which has pledged US$25 million toward the project, forwarded the resolution to MBTA and Gov. Charlie Baker.
COLOMBO APARTMENT TOWER RISING TOWARD 2020 COMPLETION
Construction on 447 Luna Tower, designed by architect PWA and developed by Asia Capital and Belluna in central Colombo, Sri Lanka, has reached the 35th floor as it heads toward completion in early 2020, Daily FT reports. Containing 190 apartments of various sizes in 45 floors, the tower will be served by three high-speed and one service elevators. Features such as Burma teak flooring and high-end German kitchen appliances have been incorporated. Other entities involved include Arup structural engineering firm and Singaporean multidisciplinary consultancy Ong & Ong. Described as an "urban oasis" in Union Place, the tower is the latest in Sri Lanka for the development team.
CTBUH KICKS OFF RESEARCH COMPETITION
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has opened submissions for its Research Seed Funding, Student Research Competition & Student Design Competition. With US$61,000 in funding and prizes over three programs, it looks to give global recognition to successful researchers and students. First, international research seed funding to assist researchers develop innovative projects to a level that would secure additional funding (in the form of collaborations and joint proposals, in conjunction with CTBUH) has an award of $20,000. The same amount is applied in funding to the student research competition, which focuses on groups of students conducting relevant research. Finally, the international student design competition has students design an innovative tall building and place it in a unique existing urban setting. Its prizes include a total of US$21,000 in cash and travel stipends. Submissions for the research competitions are due by May 31, and the design competition deadline is July 22.
WORLD ELEVATOR CONGRESS ANNOUNCED FOR APRIL
The first World Elevator Congress has been announced for April 24-25 in Langfang, China. Co-organized by the European Lift Association (ELA) and China Elevator Association, its goals are to bring together the main global stakeholders, keep abreast of latest developments, and exchange and align on regulatory topics of interest. A formal memorandum of understanding between Europe and China, based on specific issues of priority importance for the sector, is expected to be signed during the event. For more information, contact the ELA secretariat.