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New York City-based Geurin Glass & Associates designed the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Condos, hotels continue to multiply in the Big Apple.

KONE to Handle Historic Modernization in NYC

KONE has been hired to renovate 28 elevators and install four escalators and two elevators at 11 Madison Avenue, a historic 30-story office property in Midtown Manhattan. KONE products include TravelMasterTM escalators, the ReVolutionTM modernization package, EcoDisc® hosting technology, the ReSolveTM controller-upgrade solution and PolarisTM destination-control system. The process includes replacing the building’s nearly 100-year-old gearless machines. The job is among several significant modernizations KONE is handling in New York City (NYC).  

17 Escalators Part of Complex NYC Transit Project

Seventeen escalators, along with an unspecified number of elevators, will be part of a US$428-million, federally funded NYC transit project known as East Side Access, The Island Now reported. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) plans to build a 375,000-sq.-ft. Long Island Railroad (LIRR) concourse 140 ft. underground. The project is intended to bring LIRR into a new eastside station that will be incorporated into Grand Central Terminal. In February, MTA announced it had selected GCT Constructors to perform the work, which will not be complete until at least 2019. East Side Access promises to enhance access to Manhattan and reduce travel times to John F. Kennedy International Airport. 

30 Park Place Tops Out in NYC

30 Park Place, which will house the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences, topped out in late January in NYC, New York YIMBY reported. Among the city’s new breed of supertalls, the 67-story building will stand 937 ft. with hotel rooms on the lower floors and residences on the upper ones. It has concrete cladding that resembles limestone, helping it blend with neighboring, formerly dominant historic structures such as the Woolworth Building. Originally intended to be finished this year (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2014), 30 Park Place is scheduled for completion in mid 2016. 

New Residential Tower at 57th Street and Second Avenue

A 715-ft.-tall, 65-story tower housing condominiums and apartments is coming out of the ground at the corner of 57th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, New York YIMBY reports. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) designed 252 East 57th Street with a glassy façade that has curved, expanding notches on each side. It is taking shape on a site where a school once stood (a new school was built to replace it) and will form an eastern “bookend” to the emerging 57th Street skyscraper corridor. The targeted completion date is 2016. 

Virgin Hotel in NoMad 

A Virgin Hotel is planned for Manhattan’s NoMad (north of Madison Square Park) neighborhood at 1225 Broadway with a top-heavy, bold geometric design, New York YIMBY reported. The building is set to have 100,000 sq. ft. of retail at ground level and 460 hotel rooms within 38 floors. It is scheduled for completion in 2016, according to USA Today, and will be joined by several additional hotels and residential towers, some of which will exceed 50 floors, taking shape nearby. 

31-Story 172 Madison to House Condos, Ground-Level Retail

New York YIMBY recently reported that a 31-story, 450-ft.-tall glassy tower housing more than 60 condos with ground-level retail is set to start rising at 172 Madison Avenue in NYC’s Midtown. The architect is Karl Fischer, and the developer is Yitzhak Tessler. Joining new neighbor 42-story 160 Madison Avenue, the building is expected to be complete in 2016. 

35 Hudson Yards Continues to Evolve

Plans for 35 Hudson Yards in NYC continue to evolve, with permits recently filed for a taller tower with fewer floors, New York YIMBY reported. What was once a 1,000-ft.-tall, 79-story building is now a 1,009-ft.-tall, 72-story one. Designed by David Childs with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building would house stores, offices, hotel rooms and condominiums. No groundbreaking has been announced. It is part of the massive Hudson Yards development taking shape on NYC’s’ far West Side overlooking the Hudson River. 

Futuristic Condo Could Come to NYC’s Chelsea

A fluid, futuristic design by Karim Rashid is being considered for a condominium tower at 215 West 28th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC, New York YIMBY reported. Developer HAP has had plans in the works since 2012, and the latest rendering draws comparisons to a new condominium designed by Zaha Hadid at 520 West 28th Street. The HAP project would be approximately 20 stories and have ground-level retail. No firm completion date has been announced. As of January, Rashid had not been confirmed as the architect. 

Ohio State Plans Elevator Upgrade

The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, Ohio, is set to embark on a US$4.8-million, state-funded upgrade of up to 17 elevators within its 546-elevator campus, The Lantern reported. Schindler, the university’s elevator contractor since 2012, will handle the work, which will take place in academic and research buildings. The project is set to start in June and be complete in January 2016. The university spends up to US$1.6 million each year to maintain the elevators, which includes an average of eight Schindler employees each day to inspect and troubleshoot. Approximately US$25.5 million has been spent in the past decade on elevator work at the school.  

13 Elevators for Busy Philadelphia Stations

Thirteen new elevators will be part of a long-awaited, US$150-million overhaul of a pair of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) subway stations in downtown Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Set to start in early 2016, the renovations will be to the busy, historic 15th Street and City Hall stations, through which approximately 29,000 riders pass each weekday. Work is scheduled to be complete in 2018 and 2020, respectively. A SEPTA official pointed to the elevators, which will greatly enhance accessibility and make the facilities Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, as one of the most exciting aspects of the project. 

Elevator Mess at Bridge in San Francisco

A panoramic service elevator intended to travel on a unique, angled path up the 525-ft.-tall tower on the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco stopped working shortly after it was put into service in December 2014 and, as of February, was still not working, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Manufactured by Chicago-based USA Hoist, the elevator saw a price increase from US$800,000 to more than US$4 million as it underwent modifications so it could serve not only maintenance personnel but also investors who helped fund the US$6.4-billion bridge. As of February, both the door and drive shaft had failed, with the unit stuck halfway up the tower. Transportation authorities, the general contractor and the manufacturer were trying to determine who would finance the repairs.

24-Story Apartment Tower Joins Others in Houston

A third downtown Houston apartment tower by SkyHouse is planned on Main Street, the Houston Business Journal reported. Next door to a duplicate tower, SkyHouse Houston, SkyHouse Main will stand 24 stories, contain more than 330 apartments and have ground-level retail. It is scheduled for completion in 2016. SkyHouse Main’s development team consists of Jim Borders; Novare Group; Batson-Cook Development Co.; Batson-Cook Construction Co.; architects Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, and Stewart & Associates, all of Atlanta; and local partner Peter Dienna. 

Some Buildings in NJ Must Now Have Larger Elevators

Multifamily buildings in New Jersey (NJ) that are at least four stories tall must now have one elevator that is 84 sq. ft., making it large enough to accommodate a stretcher, nj.com reported. That is due to legislation signed into law by Governor Chris Christie earlier this year. Officials modified state code to include the new size requirements and to state such units must have a marking — such as the Star of Life — indicating they are for use by emergency medical personnel. The law does not apply to one- and two-family residences. 

IAEC Forum Set for May, Includes CEUs

The next International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC) Forum is taking place on May 19-22 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. For the second year, the IAEC will team up with NAESA International to offer members a continuing-education seminar worth .8 Continuing-Education Units (CEUs) on May 19. Other IAEC Forum seminars will provide an additional .2 CEUs, giving inspectors the required annual education credit hours needed to renew QEI licenses. The seminar is included in the registration cost of the forum. To register, visit website: www.iaec.org/IAEC/Forum_2015_Registration.html.

EESF Gets New Website, Contributions to Rebrand

The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) launched its redesigned website (www.eesf.org) in January. EESF Vice President Tom Sybert of C.J. Anderson & Co. created the modern redesign. Also in January, the Foundation had reached approximately US$25,000 of its US$75,000 goal toward rebranding its safety program, still set to debut this fall.

52-Story W Hotel Being Built in Philadelphia

Foundation work started recently on a US$280-million, 52-story W Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. The hotel, which will have 700 rooms, is expected to be complete by October 2017. Tudor Perini Building Corp. of Sylmar, California, is the contractor, and Chestlen Development is the developer. 

Washington Pursuing Elevator/Escalator Inspection Fund 

The state of Washington is trying to establish a fund into which elevator/escalator inspection fees would go, The Olympian reported. The move comes in the wake of lagging inspections and several serious accidents in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, two-thirds of escalators went uninspected, and some units had not been inspected since 2010. Those who support laws working their way through the state legislature believe establishing a fund will help prevent the approximately US$18.5 million in Washington Department of Labor and Industries fees collected every two years from getting swept up into the general state budget. As of February, both House and Senate versions of the proposal had progressed with no opposition.  

Ritz-Carlton Waikiki Beach Tower Gets a Twin

Ground has been broken on a second, 37-story Ritz-Carlton Residences tower on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Pacific Business News reported. Construction on the first tower is more than half complete, and it is slated to open in 2016. It has five elevators. The second tower, on which ground was broken in February, is projected to be complete in 2017. Developers report sales have been brisk, with buyers from Asia snapping up most of the 570 units. 

ATIS Continues Growth Track with Latest Acquisition

ATIS Elevator Inspections, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Testing and Inspection Services of St. Louis, has acquired Vertical Assessment Associates, LLC (VAA) of Tallahassee, Florida. VAA has more than 20 employees who provide inspection and consulting services to clients in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas. Its principals, Lee Rigby and Bill Strawn, are staying on with ATIS. The acquisition is ATIS’s fourth in the past nine months. Chairman Chip Smith opined: 

“The acquisition of VAA’s inspection business results in an iconic combination of talent. ATIS and VAA have some of the most successful and recognized experts in the elevator industry, and we are excited about the opportunities that exist by combining their talents and expertise. ATIS operates in one of the most fragmented industries we’ve ever seen, and we hope to continue capitalizing on great acquisition opportunities.”   🌐


Transitions

New hires, promotions reflect companies’ expanding reach. 

IGV Elevator US Names President

John Antona, CEIS, has been named president of IGV Elevator US, Inc. The company is part of Milan, Italy-based IGV Group, which officially entered the U.S. market with the opening of its DomusLift® Corner at Simple Steps showroom in Miami on December 3, 2014 (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2015). Antona is also president of consultancy Vertical Transport Technology Corp. of Plantation, Florida, which he founded in 1996. 

Antona has more than 40 years of experience in the elevator industry, most recently as the longtime chief of the Elevator Safety Division, Building Department, of the City of Miami Beach, Florida. Prior to that post, he was International Sales manager for Motion Control Engineering and Southern California Zone manager for ThyssenKrupp Elevator. He also served the latter company and Dover Elevator in various roles between 1978 and 1991. 

In addition to being a QEI-S, Antona serves as chairperson of the Florida State Elevator Safety Technical Advisory Council and is a member of the ASME Regulatory Advisory Council and Inspections Committee. He is also the U.S. branch manager for the International Association of Elevator Engineers. 

Antona envisions his strategic goals as:

  • Setting up and organizing, with assistance from IGV headquarters, a U.S. office to act as the official U.S. importer of DomusLift residential elevators
  • Introducing a deluxe, ultramodern residential elevator with pre-engineered luxury finishes as a standard package
  • Establishing a dependable, factory-trained group of dealers to provide sales and installations nationwide
  • Organizing a system of quality control inspections
  • Setting up coverage for some Caribbean territories through IGV Elevator US

Gorman Announces Promotions

Gorman Co., Inc., has announced it has promoted Josephine Gorman from vice president to senior vice president and Michael Johnson to vice president of sales. Josephine Gorman has worked for the family business for more than nine years. She holds a BA in English from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Johnson holds a BA from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and previously served as logistics coordinator, purchasing agent and production supervisor at SPX Dock Products. 

SCS Hires Heasley

Supplier SCS Elevator Products Inc. of Red Wing, Minnesota, has hired Dean Heasley to expand its sales and marketing efforts to focus on independent elevator contractors. SCS reports growth, both in its product lines and customer base. Heasley has been in elevator-industry sales for eight years. He will continue to be based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to this post, Heasley was a longtime employee of Kings III Emergency Communications, most recently serving as its Joint Venture Program Business Development manager.

Genesis Promotes Collins

Genesis Elevator Co. Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia, has promoted Bo Collins to vice president, Residential Business. Collins has been part of the elevator industry since 2005. He joined Genesis in 2010. The company states: 

“[Collins] has taken Genesis from a relative unknown in the residential market to one of the largest in Georgia. In his new role, he will continue to be a member of the Genesis Leadership Group and oversee the company’s expansion into northern Florida.”

SnapCab Hires Johnson for New Texas Office

SnapCab has hired Steve Johnson as interior specialist for its new sales office in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. Johnson has more than 20 years of manufacturing and sales experience, most recently serving as national sales director at Eklund’s, Inc. for eight years. In his new role, he will support sales growth in SnapCab’s South Central region.

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