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A roundup of the most important ongoing projects in and around booming New York City

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A Remarkable Shift in 2 WTC Design

The Norman Foster-designed vision for 2 World Trade Center (WTC), the fourth and final tower at the WTC site in Manhattan, was a relatively simple design with a slanted roof in the shape of four diamonds (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2015). That has given way to a livelier design by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, various news outlets, including Wired, reported in June. The tower, which at 1,340 ft. tall would be Manhattan’s third tallest behind 1 WTC and 432 Park Avenue, will take on different looks depending on perspective. From the WTC Memorial Plaza, it will appear “slender and serious.” But from Tribeca, one will gaze upon a stepped design that evokes Jazz Age cubism. Elevator shafts will be concentrated in the western portion of the building, allowing for vast, open newsrooms. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch intends for 2 WTC to be his companies’ new headquarters, and Murdoch was the one who shifted from Foster to Ingels. Should it be built, the building is slated for completion in roughly 2020, following 3 WTC in 2018.

Hudson Yards Hitting Its Stride

Since 2006, a total of 57 buildings have been built or are under construction in Hudson Yards (EW, March 2015) on Manhattan’s Far West Side, marking momentum for a massive redevelopment project that has drawn its share of praise and ire, The New York Times reports. The activity means that, in less than a year, US$336 million in fees and development rights have flowed to the City of New York, which has had to cover US$358 million in debt payments for the project since 2006 and is building a pricey subway extension for it. Among buildings under construction between 30th and 42nd streets are 51- and 67-story buildings, along with a shopping mall with one million sq. ft. and the city’s first Neiman Marcus department store. Proponents are excited about the activity and hope the subway extension set to open this summer will spur it further.

Towers Added to, Restarted in Pacific Park

Greenland Forest City Ratner Partners (formerly known as Atlantic Yards and a partnership between Greenland USA and Forest City Ratner Cos.) is planning a 26-story residential tower in Pacific Park Brooklyn, which The Real Deal calls a “megadevelopment.” It is to be located at 615 Dean Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton avenues in Prospect Heights. Space will include 244 apartments across 312,750 sq. ft., plus 4,000 sq. ft. of commercial area. Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect of record.

The same developer is also restarting construction on B2 (at 461 Dean Street), to rise 32 stories as the world’s tallest modular tower, following several lawsuits. It also filed plans for a 305-unit rental building at 30 Sixth Avenue in February.

High-Speed 1 WTC Elevators Open

The five elevators servicing the observatory at 1 WTC in New York City were opened to the public on June 1. Supplier and installer ThyssenKrupp Elevator touts the units as the fastest in North and South America. The elevators are able to travel at nearly 23 mph and climb to the 102nd floor in 60 s. Planning for their key elevator components, including 4 million lb. of rails, was done by a network of experts from eight countries.

Technology included in the high-speed elevators includes aerodynamic aluminum shrouds to deflect air and maintain speed, a special guide system to minimize vibrations and sound-suppressing materials throughout the cabs and doors. ThyssenKrupp Elevator also designed and installed all of the elevators (71) and escalators (12), the former of which include regenerative drives and the company’s Destination Dispatch™ system.

1,200-Ft.-Tall Building Will Be among City’s Tallest

New details about the 1,200-ft.-tall condominium project 1 Park Lane at 36 Central Park South have emerged, revealing a glassy structure with terraces for every residence, tall ceilings and huge windows, New York YIMBY reported. Witkoff is developing the project on the site of the Helmsley Park Lane. Handel Architects designed the building. Adjacent to a flurry of tall-building construction along the 57th Street corridor, 1 Park Lane is set to have nearly 90 high-end residences and numerous shared amenities, and be complete in 2020.

777-Ft.-Tall Condominium Tower Ascends Rapidly

A 777-ft.-tall, 64-story condominium tower at 45 East 22nd Street (EW, July 2014) is ascending rapidly, suggesting it will probably meet its 2016 expected completion date, New York YIMBY reported. In late May, construction was reaching toward the sixth floor. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox with a shape that resembles a champagne glass, the glassy tower will house more than 80 luxury residences with prices starting at US$2.5 million. Continuum is the developer.

50-Story Residential Tower for Midtown East

A 50-story building planned at 131-141 East 47th Street in Midtown East, originally intended to be mixed use, has morphed into an entirely residential project, New York YIMBY reported. Features include an expansive lobby and 138 high-ceilinged luxury condominiums that will span approximately 1,200 sq. ft. each. The developer is New Empire Real Estate, and the architect is SLCE. As of June, construction permits had not yet been filed, but the building is expected to stand approximately 600-700 ft. tall.

Housing luxury condominiums, the East 47th Street tower was designed by SLCE.

Port Authority Focus Shifts to LaGuardia

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has begun negotiations with the LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a consortium selected in May to replace the 51-year-old main terminal at LaGuardia Airport. Plans to proceed on the major project reflect a shift in the authority’s focus back to transportation now that the WTC project is nearing its final phases.NJ.com reported that what happens at LaGuardia could be used as a model in the rebuilding of Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A, scheduled as next on the priorities list for the Port Authority’s airports.

The consortium is led by Swedish construction firm Skanska and includes Walsh Construction, Vantage Airport Group (Canada) Meridiam, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Parsons Brinckerhoff. At a projected cost of US$3.6 billion, including a new parking garage, access roads and other infrastructure improvements, the replacement of LaGuardia’s main terminal will be the second-costliest project in the Port Authority’s history, following the WTC rebuilding. More work at the airport could come later in the form of a US$200-400-million “Central Portal” to link terminals B and C, however a final decision on that project will come later.

The new terminal is designed to handle 17.5 million passengers and span 1.3 million sq. ft., close to double the size of the under-capacity old building. A demolition and construction schedule will be made following negotiations for running the terminal for 35 years. This decision is to be made by the end of the year.

Office High Rise for Park Avenue

Though work is wrapping up at the luxury residential tower at 432 Park Avenue (EW, March 2015), the street has not seen a major new office tower in 35 years. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that era is coming to an end, however, with developer L&L Holding Co. and its partners securing US$556 million from MassMutual Financial Group to fund development of an 897-ft.-tall office tower at 425 Park Avenue. Along with additional funding from Japanese investor Tokyu Land Corp., the deal enables progress on the proposed 670,000-sq.-ft. tower in what the source calls “a display of the gradually improving appetite for office construction around the U.S.” Office vacancy rates are on the decrease, while interest rates are near historic lows. L&L expects completion of the tower by 2018.

Acquisition, Expansion

Lerch Bates Agrees to Acquire JNA of NYC

In June, Lerch Bates Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Joseph Neto & Associates, Inc. (JNA) of New York City (NYC). Lerch Bates noted the move expands upon its vertical-transportation consulting leadership role and strengthens both firms’ positions in the New York market. The new business will be known as Joseph Neto & Associates, A Lerch Bates Co. while the transition takes place. JNA President Joe Neto opined:

“This new combined entity is beneficial for all employees and enables us to offer unequaled technical expertise to all of our clients and prospective clients in New York. We believe this opportunity will enable us to serve architects, buildings owners and managers well beyond what has been available in the market previously. This partnership with Lerch Bates expands our ability to serve our clients, not just domestically, but globally through offices in key international locations.”

Eklund’s Expands into California

Eklund’s, Inc. has expanded westward with a new presence in California, in what it considers a “rapidly growing area.” Tom Kotiranta has been hired as a Business Development representative based near Los Angeles. Kotiranta will work closely with customers on custom elevator-cab projects, introducing them to the company’s StreamLine Cab Design Studio (ELEVATOR WORLD, March 2015). Before joining Eklund’s, he served as a regional sales manager for an architectural-ceiling system fabricator.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Confined Spaces

OSHA has issued its final rule on construction workers in confined spaces, which include elevator and escalator pits. The new rule requires closer monitoring of worksite safety conditions and better communication among employers. OSHA officials estimate approximately 780 serious injuries will be prevented as a result of the rule, which may be read in its entirety at osha.gov. Compliance assistance materials are also available.

Schindler AIA Continuing-Education Courses

Schindler has announced two new American Institute of Architects (AIA)-approved continuing-education courses for elevators. The “Vertical Transportation: Machine-Room-Less Elevators” course is approved for 1.75 AIA Learning Units (LUs). The second course, “Vertical Transportation: Destination Controls for Elevators,” is approved for 1.00 LUs. Both are available at website: www.aecdaily.com/sc.php?node_id=1444954&tabidx=education&company=Schindler+Elevator+Corp..

Urban, Building Tours Part of CTBUH NYC Conference

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2015 Conference in New York City (NYC) on October 26-30 will include a series of tall building and neighborhood tours featuring such noteworthy NYC buildings and neighborhoods as 432 Park Avenue and Brooklyn. Nearly 20 tours will be available, with delegates able to sign up for up to two tours on the day they are offered. Regional city tours are also planned in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto. For complete information, visit ctbuh2015.com.

NEII Field Safety Committee Meets

The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII®) Field Employee Safety Committee met in Cypress, California, recently. The meeting, the purpose of which was to finalize the electrical safety portion of the 2015 Elevator Industry Field Employees’ Safety Handbook, was hosted by Ivan Andrews of Mitsubishi Electric U.S., Inc. It was led by Chairman Corey Ward of KONE, and provided an opportunity to introduce the group to the new secretary, Kevin Brinkman, who replaced Brian Black earlier this year.

Arc-flash safety was the primary topic of the meeting, as NEII once again paid to have a wide variety of elevator equipment surveyed for risk exposure. All four of the major OEMs were represented. Also present were liaisons from the National Elevator Industry Educational Program, Tim Daly, and liaison Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick from Elevator World, Inc. The committee welcomed John Faure (a previous member and now alternate) from Mitsubishi Electric and new member Rob Brandley from ThyssenKrupp Elevator, who was there with Larry Leadingham. The discussion got hot and heavy but never wavered from the mission of setting procedures for the industry that would keep employees safe on the job.

The revisions of the electrical chapter were completed and approved. In addition, the NEII position paper on arc-flash hazards and electrical safe-work practices was revised and approved. In another portion of the handbook, there is an article containing a complete list of changes in the 2015 version (p. 81). The handbook is available from elevatorbooks.com. A copy of its text with revisions in red is available at safety.elevatorworld.com.

Transitions

Schindler and Kings III hire experienced people; industry veteran retires.

Taylor Now Schindler Codes and Standards Officer

Lawrence Taylor is now a Codes and Standards officer for Schindler, based in Austin, Texas. Previously, he worked for Barbre Consulting, Inc. in The Woodlands, Texas. He retired from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation after more than eight years of service as chief elevator inspector.

Stewart Retires after 55 Years

Rudolph “Rusty” Stewart of Sherwood Forest, Maryland, has retired after 55 years in the industry. After starting out in 1959 as a salesman at General Elevator Co., Inc., Stewart became manager of the company’s Washington, D.C., office. In 1967, he moved on to become vice president, director and shareholder at Dover Elevator distributor Horner Elevator Co. Five years later, he cofounded Chesapeake Elevator Corp., which, in 1978, merged with General Elevator. Stewart remained employed with General Elevator in various leadership capacities through 1992, at which point he formed consulting firm Vertran Enterprises, Ltd. He sold Vertran in 1999, continuing to work for the company on an as-needed basis until 2008, when he founded Stewart Consulting, LLC. He closed that company in 2012 and went to work for Michael Blades & Associates as a senior consultant until his retirement in November 2014.

Kings III Hires Carolinas Business Development Manager Kings III Emergency Communications has hired Lashaune Tisdale as Business Development manager for the Carolinas. Tisdale comes to the company with nearly 20 years of property-management experience, most recently managing a portfolio of residential properties in North Carolina. With Kings III, she will be based in Charlotte.

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