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Announcements from a major player, COVID-19 elevator plans and rising skyscrapers

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The 67-story Sven was close to topping out in March; photo by Michael Young for New York YIMBY.

TEI News

Company Announces Equity Partnership With Analogue

TEI Group, the largest independently owned and operated vertical-transportation (VT) company serving the New York tri-state area, announced in April that Analogue Holdings Ltd., a publicly traded company based in Hong Kong, has acquired a 51% equity interest stake in the company. Analogue is an electrical and mechanical engineering service provider with operations in Macau and mainland China. Its lifts and escalators segment operates as Anlev. This represents Analogue’s first foothold in North America, with TEI now operating as an indirect, non-wholly owned subsidiary of Analogue.

TEI’s principle management team will retain their roles as “long-term equity partners,” supported by the company’s more than 300 VT employees. TEI Managing Partner and President Mark Gregorio said:

“The entire TEI team is extremely excited to partner with Analogue, and we collectively look forward to capitalizing on the myriad new business development and expansion opportunities that lie ahead. Together with the support and added resources of our new partners at Analogue, we will further expand our presence in the New York metropolitan area and implement new growth strategies to take our services nationwide.”

Dr. Poon Lok To Otto, chairman of Analogue, said the move will allow his company to better execute new technology, market and business strategies, and provide a stepping-stone to expand its business in the U.S. and, ultimately, the world. “Our core operating philosophies align very well with TEI,” he said.

TEI partner and Executive Vice President Michael Staub said he and Gregorio will remain closely involved in “every aspect of TEI’s current and future business with the intent of preserving the unique culture we’ve created at the company over the years.” He added that the partnership “significantly accelerates our evolving business model and expansion plans, providing our dedicated team with new and exciting opportunities.”

Analogue said that, since its successful listing on the main board of Stock Exchange of the Hong Kong last year, it has been seeking new opportunities to further strengthen all aspects of its business. Analogue cited the NYC Department of Buildings’ Elevator Report 2017, which said the city has approximately 84,000 elevators, representing the largest stock in North America, as well as the oldest in the world. In view of this potential for significant revenue growth, Analogue considers the acquisition of NYC-based TEI a “significant strategic business decision that will further accelerate Analogue’s global growth.”

Three Promoted

TEI Group announced three promotions in April. Wayne Locker has been promoted from director of technical support to vice president, technical support and education. Locker has more than 40 years’ industry experience and has been with TEI since 2006. His duties include helping clients find VT solutions for unique settings. He is a member of various organizations and holds numerous certifications.

Robert C. Pitney has been promoted from director to chief information officer. Spanning more than 35 years, his experience includes developing, managing and troubleshooting information-technology (IT) systems. Since 2007, he has managed TEI’s day-to-day business processes, directed its IT initiatives and spearheaded efforts to position product technology to enhance efficiency and establish best practices across departments. Pitney also serves on the company’s Executive Committee and has published articles in Forbes, Businessweek and more.

Angela Williams was promoted from violations manager to vice president, codes and violations. She and her team provide comprehensive back-office support to resolve code violations and schedule mandated periodic elevator testing. Her department is responsible for filing customer permits in relation to elevator operation, maintenance and repair. Williams has been with TEI since 2001. In her new role, she oversees all aspects of the company’s interactions with the NYC Department of Buildings in connection with the VT industry.

Banks Make COVID-19 Elevator Plans

In late April, as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to ease in NYC, some of the world’s largest banks were busily designing logistics to eventually bring staff back to their mostly empty towers, Bloomberg reported. Citigroup presented a good example; while working things out behind the scenes and in the face of numerous obstacles, the bank was cautioning its employees that any return would be gradual and conducted

without any set dates. A chief concern for Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and others is how to organize lobbies and elevators to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. At the time of the report, the banks were still in the process of gathering data and working out details. Some of their ideas: station attendants outside elevators to push buttons so fewer people touch them, limiting the number of riders, providing towelettes, monitoring workers’ health by taking their temperatures; and requiring all to wear masks.

LIC’s Sven Approaches Construction Milestone

Sven, a 755-ft-tall, 67-story residential skyscraper under construction in Long Island City (LIC), Queens, was close to topping out in March, New York YIMBY reported. The tower, at 27-29 Queens Plaza North, developed by The Durst Organization, was designed by Handel Architects. The reflective glass curtain was nearing the halfway mark of the concave-shaped superstructure. Selldorf Architects is the interior designer for the project, which is alternately addressed as 29-37 41st Avenue. Totaling 978,000 ft2, Sven will contain 958 units, 30% of which will be set aside for affordable housing. The project will incorporate the Queens Clock Tower, an Art Deco landmark being restored to become part of the project’s 50,000 ft2 of commercial retail space. Amenities include a 20,000-ft2 fitness center, coworking space and a demonstration kitchen. The building is near the Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza subway stations and sits adjacent to Manhattan-bound lanes toward the Queensboro Bridge. Construction is to wrap by the end of the year.

A Look at Brooklyn Neighborhood’s Tallest Structure

New York YIMBY recently provided a look inside PLG, a residential rental property in Brooklyn’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens at 123 Linden Boulevard that, at 26 stories, will be the neighborhood’s tallest building. Developed by The Moinian Group and Bushburg Properties and designed by Hill West Architects, the structure will contain 467 units within 469,000 ft2. Spanning 50,000 ft2, amenities include an indoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna and a steam room, a fitness center, a lounge, recreational areas, and coworking space. Whitehall Interiors oversaw design of the building, for which leasing is underway.

Midtown West Skyscraper Rises Above Street Level

A 570-ft-tall, 52-story skyscraper at 555 West 38th Street, just north of the Hudson Yards megadevelopment in Midtown West, was one floor above street level in March, New York YIMBY reported. Part of the neighborhood’s tall-tower construction boom, the building was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli with SLCE as the architect of record, and developed by Rockrose. Directly across Eleventh Avenue from the Jacob K. Javits Center, it will contain nearly 600 residential rental units and is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. Subway access is a 6 min walk away to the Hudson Yards station served by the 7 train.

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