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Acquisitions, New Offices

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KONE plans to move into the new AllenPlace office park in Allen, Texas, in the first half of 2015.

Innovation Industries and D & D Elevator purchase other companies; Wurtec and KONE open new offices.

Innovation Industries Buys Monitor Elevator Products

Innovation Industries, Inc. of Russellville, Arkansas, has completed the purchase of Monitor Elevator Products of Hauppauge, New York, from parent company Halma of London. Monitor’s 76 employees will be retained, according to Innovation CEO Paul Horney. A privately held company, Innovation designs and manufactures an array of elevator push buttons, fixtures and components. They are used in numerous commercial buildings, as well as U.S. landmarks such as Yankee Stadium, the rocket launchpad at the John F. Kennedy Space Center and Smithsonian Institution. Prior to the acquisition, Innovation had 136 employees. Horney stated:

“Since the 1960s, Monitor has developed an excellent reputation for building high-quality, custom elevator fixtures for the largest elevator market in North America. The addition of Monitor’s products and established customer base is an excellent complement to Innovation’s product lines and sales network.”

D & D Elevator Acquires Arco

D & D Elevator Maintenance, Inc. of Elmsford, New York, has acquired Arco Elevator, a Bronx, New York-based maintenance, repair and modernization company founded in 1974 from principle, Gerald Murray. The acquisition is the latest move in growth strategy D & D implemented in 2011 and promises “to allow D & D to strengthen its level of service in areas where we already have a presence and lays the groundwork for future expansion in the tri-state area,” D & D President and CEO Bobby Schaeffer said. “Arco Elevator has a similar culture of customer-focused quality service, so we thought it would be a perfect fit for our company,” he added.

Wurtec Opens Top Floor Elevator Store in Las Vegas, Partners with Brugg

Top Floor Elevator Store (TFES), USA, a Wurtec company, is now open in Las Vegas. The move marks an expansion from TFES’s Toronto location, which has been open for three years. Located at 6185 S. Valley View Blvd., TFES Las Vegas has inventory including Wurtec products, rental equipment, and Brugg hoist and governor rope, for which it is the exclusive regional distributor thanks to a new partnership. It provides services such as short-lead-time, cut-to-length rope. Rob Wurth, TFES president, observed:

“Las Vegas provides a nice entry point into the western U.S. for TFES USA. It allows us to provide local support to the elevator and escalator heavy market in Las Vegas, where downtime is extremely critical for contractors. We can also complement Wurtec distribution by giving the western U.S. easier and additional access to Wurtec products and services, including rental equipment.”                                              

KONE To Be Anchor Tenant in New Texas Office Park

KONE has signed on as lead tenant in the new US$26-million, AllenPlace office park in Allen, Texas, Real Estate Daily reports. KONE, which already has office space in Allen and a testing facility nearby, plans to move into approximately 25,000 sq. ft. in a 102,000-sq.-ft. multitenant building sometime in the first half of 2015. KONE’s supply operations and R&D are among functions to be housed in the new space. Ron Bagwill, KONE’s vice president and director of supply operations for KONE Americas, noted:

“KONE has been growing our capabilities in order to support our elevator and escalator business in North America. This new location, with the additional office space and improved testing facilities, will allow us to continue this trend.”

Lerch Bates Hires Project Managers for Three Key Markets

Lerch Bates Inc. has named project managers to provide vertical-transportation consulting services for design, maintenance and modernization projects in their respective markets.

Cole Ganser is project manager for the Pacific Southwest region. He is based in Glendale, California. He most recently was in charge of service, repair and modernization of traction and hydraulic elevators for ThyssenKrupp Elevator in Burbank and Santa Barbara, California. Ganser holds a BS degree from the University of Southern California. He has more than seven years of industry experience.

Mike Lyon is project manager overseeing the Washington, D.C., region. Lyon’s 15-plus years of industry experience include New Equipment engineer for KONE in Washington, D.C., and account manager for Otis in Maryland. He has also worked as a salesperson for Eklund’s, Inc. and Elevator Modernization Co. Lyon holds a BA in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in Athens, Georgia.

John Mandigo is project manager for Florida and is based in Miami. He has 13 years of industry experience, most recently serving as manager of Modernization and New Construction for ThyssenKrupp Elevator in northern Florida. In this role, he led projects including a 16-elevator modernization of Tampa’s Bank of America Plaza. While serving as Modernization manager and Thermodynamics Sales engineer at Otis, he helped clients identify energy-saving solutions and implemented a US$52-million retrofit of the elevator system at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

More New Hires

Lift Business Advisors, Inc., EESF and Man-D-Tec bring in talent.

Lift Business Advisors Names EVP

Lift Business Advisors, Inc. has announced that Jeff Eaton has joined it as executive vice president (EVP). Eaton has been active in the elevator industry since 1989, having served in various business-development and managerial positions with Otis and KONE in Europe and the U.S. As deputy managing director, he was directly involved in opening the Otis factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was responsible for acquiring and integrating three large service companies in Russia during his career. In the U.S., Eaton was a branch manager and regional general manager for Otis’ Western Region from the mid 1990s until 2002 and was later responsible for the Otis New Equipment business in the U.K. and Ireland.

Eaton joined KONE in 2004 as managing director for Russia, returning to the U.S. in 2008 as KONE’s director for Mergers & Acquisitions for the Americas. During the last six years, he and the KONE team acquired 32 separate elevator service businesses in the U.S., Mexico and Canada that have been merged into KONE. Eaton has a BA in Economics from Hobart College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Mark Walters, president and founder of Lift Business Advisors, which represents elevator-industry contractors and suppliers with the sale of their businesses, commented:

“[Eaton] brings years of experience having completed elevator-industry acquisitions in Europe, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. [Eaton]’s experience makes him uniquely qualified to represent our elevator-industry clients who are ready to sell their businesses. Eaton will also have a role in expanding our business beyond North America.”

Layton Named EESF Associate Director

The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) has named Nikole Layton associate director. She will manage all fundraising events, campaigns, grant writing and new initiatives. The EESF describes Layton as “a seasoned nonprofit leader with vast experience in business and mission management, program administration, fundraising and development.” She has worked for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Coastal Empire and Chattanooga, Tennessee; the YMCA of Greater Beaufort County’s corporate office; Birmingham AIDS Outreach and Gurley and Company Public Relations and Marketing. She holds an MA in Communications from Jacksonville State University. Layton stated:

“I am thrilled to be working with the EESF to further raise funds and awareness that will support the organization’s vital mission. It is an honor to impact the lives of so many children through education programs the foundation is able to provide.”

Layton lives in Fairhope, Alabama, with her husband and son.

Man-D-Tec Hires Flake

Man-D-Tec®, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona, has hired Tyler Flake as Fabrication lead. His duties include providing technical support, designing products and writing product manuals. Serving as a Man-D-Tec apprentice while earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University, Flake has experience designing and engineering mini Baja trucks. 

Manhattan and Beyond

Plans for an array of residential skyscrapers with sweeping views are underway.

Tallest Residential Building in Lower Manhattan Revealed

Plans for 101 Tribeca, which, if built, would become the tallest residential building in Lower Manhattan, have been revealed, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and located at 101 Murray Street, the 950-ft.-tall, 63-story tower features a glass façade culminating in a pinnacle. Residences boast views of Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island. No construction dates have been announced, but demolition of an existing structure suggests groundbreaking is on the near horizon.

Tower Planned on Roseland Ballroom Site

A 675-ft.-tall residential tower is planned on the site of the Roseland Ballroom, which held its last show in April, New York YIMBY reports. The development would comprise two blocks on West 53rd Street and become one of the tallest residential towers in Midtown West. Approximately 420 residential units are planned, and the development would offer views of the Hudson River and Midtown. Conceptual renderings depict an undulating skyscraper that would contrast with its neighbors. No completion date has been announced, but a 2017 opening is likely.

Renderings Show Condos’ Sweeping Views

New renderings from graphic design company DBox reveal design tweaks and sweeping views from the Helmut Jahn-conceived 50 West Street condominium tower, New York YIMBY reported in May. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the 783-ft.-tall, 63-story building will be located several blocks south of One World Trade Center and, upon completion, be among the tallest residential structures in Manhattan, New York. It is set to include ground-level retail and 191 residences, including a duplex penthouse spanning two floors.

Permits Issued for 52-Story Tower

Permits have been issued for a new 52-story residential tower located at 39 Fletcher Street, New York YIMBY reports. Named 151 Maiden Lane, the building would be extremely thin and feature balconies spiraling around it. The 281,000-sq.ft. building, located in what is described as a “Disney-esque neighborhood,” was designed by Goldstein Hill & West. Construction is set to start this year, with a rough anticipated completion date in late 2016 or early 2017. 

Jersey City Projects Continue Evolving

Plans for a pair of mixed-use projects that promise to continue the transformation of Jersey City, New Jersey, have been updated, New York YIMBY reports. Renderings showing a skybridge linking the 60-story City Center Towers in Journal Square (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2014) are no longer on the Humphreys & Partners website; the buildings now stand alone. The 61-story San Remo, which is closer to Manhattan, has had a complete overhaul and now boasts a sleek façade that promises to stand out in Jersey City. Construction dates for neither project have been announced.

NYC’s No. 7 Extension Held Up by Inclined Elevator

Though far past its schedule to meet its original opening date in 2013, the No. 7 train extension to the Far West Side of Manhattan in New York City (NYC) is underway again, now that some snags with one of its inclined elevators have been smoothed. After six years of construction, the New York Times reports, the addition is now slated for a 2014 opening to join the Times Square and 11th Avenue subway stations.

While plans for two inclined elevators were always (at least 10 years ago) included in the project to allow for cheaper boreholes and improved accessibility, an unexpected failure of a factory test put progress on hold. KONE managed the project to combine the Maspero lift with a controller made in Long Island, New York, speed governors from Ohio and other components in Queens, New York. When complete, it is to travel at a 27° angle at approximately 100 fpm and have a capacity of approximately 15 passengers.

Part of the massive Hudson Yards development (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2013), the city-funded extension is the first funded in this manner in more than 60 years. Its original US$2.4-billion budget is still intact, but the project no longer includes plans for an additional station at 41st Street and 10th Avenue. It is expected that some 27,000 passengers will use it daily by the end of the year.

Plans for 674-Ft.-Tall Vegas Tower Advance

Malaysia-based Genting Berhad’s plan to build a US$4-billion casino resort in Las Vegas on the former site of the Stardust Resort and Casino moved forward in May, with the Nevada Gaming Commission’s decision that Genting has strong enough financials to enable it to proceed as early as this summer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Along with a large casino, Resorts World Las Vegas is set to include 3,000 hotel rooms, 30 retail outlets, a 4,000-seat theater and a rooftop park and observation deck atop a 674-ft.-tall tower. Construction is anticipated to occur in phases over multiple years. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the tower’s height. 

10000 Santa Monica Coming to Life

10000 Santa Monica Boulevard, a long-dormant site earmarked for an apartment tower with approximately 40 stories, began seeing activity in April, Curbed Los Angeles and Engineering News-Record California report. Signs and netting had been on site for approximately one year leading up to the recent activity, which included heavy equipment digging a hole. According to ENR California, the Miami developer has secured the US$210 million it needed in financing. Designed by New York City’s Handel Architects LLP and featuring a glass façade, the building is scheduled to be complete in less than three years. 

Recognitions and Milestones

APTA and BUILDINGS give awards, while R&R celebrates anniversary.

Welch Receives APTA Award

VTX® announced in June that Patrick J. Welch, its president, was recognized for his 10 years of service as chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Elevator Escalator Technical Forum (EETF). Welch received a certificate of appreciation and was named chair emeritus of the forum. He will continue to participate on the APTA EETF as chair of the forum’s design guideline efforts. He also will continue to serve on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.1 Escalator and Moving Walk Committee, where he has been an active member since 1996.

Throughout his tenure as chair, he led the forum to collaborate with the American Association of Airport Executives to advance APTA design guidelines at airports and the ASME A17.1 Elevator and Escalator Safety Code committees on new rules and interpretations. He also presided over the creation of design guidelines for heavy-duty escalators and moving walks, heavy-duty low- and mid-rise elevators, and heavy-duty machine room less elevators. Finally, his term saw the establishment of the APTA EETF Project of the Year awards, of which VTX® was a recipient in 2007 for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority escalator modernization program in Washington, D.C.

endura MRL, Schindler 9600, SnapCab Recognized by BUILDINGS

BUILDINGS magazine has named ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas’ endura MRL low-rise machine-room-less (MRL) elevator, Schindler’s 9600 escalator modernization package and SnapCab’s elevator-interior upgrade system “2014 Money-Saving Products.” Combining hydraulic and MRL features, endura MRL (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2014) can result in savings of up to US$100,000 on operating costs over 25 years, according to ThyssenKrupp Elevator. The 9600, Schindler maintains, simplifies escalator modernization, allows for rapid installation and saves energy. SnapCab states its system offers an average of 30% cost savings versus a customized job. The monthly BUILDINGS publication reaches more than 74,000 building owners and professional facilities managers in North America.

R&R Celebrates 25 Years

Reynolds & Reynolds Electronics, Inc. (R&R) marks its 25th anniversary this year. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, manufacturer was founded in 1989 by husband-and-wife team Bill and Renata Reynolds. Their efforts led to the invention of R&R’s first hydraulic-elevator emergency-rescue unit, forming the foundation for the variety of hydraulic and traction battery-backup units and door-speed controllers R&R produces and sells today.  

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