Acquisitions, a shift in ownership and a key appointment
Lerch Bates Announces New President, Acquisition
Lerch Bates Inc. has named Eric Rupe president, effective January 1. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the consulting business globally, including elevators and escalators, façade access and building logistics.
Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, Lerch Bates has offices throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, India and South America. Rupe joined Lerch Bates in 2010 with 20 years of sales, operations and management experience, including corporate positions with KONE. He held various roles at Lerch Bates, including elevator consultant, general manager Chicago, Northeast area vice president and executive vice president. Bart Stephan, former president and CEO, has become CEO of the parent company of Lerch Bates and Pie Consulting and Engineering, an Arvada, Colorado-headquartered firm Lerch Bates acquired late last year. At the time, Lerch Bates observed, “Pie is a recognized expert in building enclosure consulting and forensic engineering services, bringing an added dimension to the existing vertical transportation, façade access and logistic consulting units at Lerch Bates.”
3Phase Acquires Excel Elevator & Escalator
3Phase Elevator Corp., a New England-based independent provider of maintenance, modernization and repair services for major brands, announced its acquisition of Excel Elevator & Escalator Corp., headquartered in Staten Island, New York, in January. Following previous 3Phase acquisitions, the move expands 3Phase’s reach to 10 states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Excel observed the companies already shared some of the same customers. “The addition of Excel opens key markets down the I-95 corridor that will further differentiate us and enhance our reach for many of our regional, national and global customers,” 3Phase CEO Mike Strachan said. BMO Sponsor Finance provided the financing for the transaction, with Kirkland & Ellis and WilliamsMarston LLC advising 3Phase and Fort Point Capital (a private equity firm) and Pullman & Comley and Maven Group advising Excel.
Pride & Service Elevator Becomes 100% Employee Owned Pride & Service Elevator, Inc. announced in December 2019 it has become 100% employee owned. Founded in NYC in 1983, Pride & Service provides design, maintenance, modernization and repair services for elevators in the New York and New Jersey areas. It had been owned and managed by the Todd family since 2010. Christopher Todd is currently president. The transition to employee ownership was done through an employee stock ownership plan, in which all eligible employees are granted shares of the company each year “at no cost, allowing them to earn ownership over time through their service to the company and accumulate tax-deferred retirement wealth.” Investment banking firm Ambrose Advisors consulted on the transaction, which, according to Ambrose, “promises to be “highly beneficial to its employees, customers, vendors and the community.”
NEII Has a Busy 2019
The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) gave a review of 2019 in its newsletter, NEII Insider, in January. It highlighted industry advocacy victories including dissuading “the City of New York from requiring elevator control rooms and other restrictions on elevator designs that would have added costs and other challenges without additional safety benefits” and aiding in implementing an amnesty program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Professional Licensing allowing customers a 75% reduction on all civil fines predating 2018. In addition to other victories in Michigan, Washington, Louisiana, Denver and California, the organization said President of Otis Americas and President of NEII Board of Directors Tom Vining’s advocacy for reduced tariffs on elevator and escalator components before the U.S. Trade Representative (in addition to other NEII efforts) led to the exclusion of several elevator and escalator components from increased tariffs.
NEII representatives maintained active participation in the code development processes of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Fire Protection Association, International Code Council and International Organization for Standardization. Its member companies also had an updated “Arc Flash Study” conducted. Recommendations from it will be used to enhance the Elevator Industry Field Employees’ Safety Handbook this year. As reported in ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2019, it also launched its new website (nationalelevatorindustry.org), and the NEII office was moved to 10504 Turning Leaf Lane, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22551. Phone numbers are unchanged.
20 Towers Will Be Rising in Miami in 2020
Vertical-transportation installers in Miami look to be busy over the next few years as 20 new towers are expected to be rising in the city’s downtown area in 2020, The Next Miami reported in December 2019. Ranging from a 24-story, 263-ft-tall hotel all the way up to a 902-ft-tall mixed-use tower that will take the crown as the city’s tallest, Miami’s tall-building boom is not showing any signs of abating.
The report notes that construction could start on two more downtown high rises and adds that numerous other tall buildings are planned in other parts of the city. The tallest five on the list are:
- Okan Tower (70 stories, 902 ft): Groundbreaking was expected in the first quarter. When complete, Okan will be Miami’s tallest building, housing hotel, residential and office space.
- Aston Martin Residences (69 stories, 816 ft): This residential tower was already several stories up in early January.
- 830 Brickell (50 stories, 734 ft): Foundation work has begun, and a US$300-million construction loan means the city’s second- tallest, most-modern office tower is ready to start going vertical.
- Missoni Baia (57 stories, around 649 ft): This Edgewater condo tower is starting to rise.
- Una Residences (46 stories, 613 ft): Preliminary site work has begun for this residential tower.