Business Down South
Major development in Atlanta; contract in Charlotte
thyssenkrupp Breaks Ground, Lands Government Contract
thyssenkrupp broke ground on April 18 on its new Innovation and Qualification Center (IQC), part of a complex in metro Atlanta that will serve as its North American headquarters and include a 420-ft.-tall elevator test tower that will be the tallest of its kind in the U.S. (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2018 and May 2019) upon completion in 2021. Joining test towers in Rottweil, Germany, and Zhongshan, China, the tower will anchor the new headquarters next to SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Its 18 shafts will be used to test new products including high-speed elevators and the TWIN and upcoming MULTI elevator systems. Including a new corporate headquarters, the property, owned by the Atlanta Braves Development Co., will consolidate U.S. sites into one location and employ more than 900. thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO Peter Walker observed the OEM is investing more than US$300 million in the U.S. over the next 10-15 years.
In other company news, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported earlier in April that thyssenkrupp was awarded a US$219,858 government contract. The Board of Commissioners in Cobb County hired the company to upgrade two elevators in its government building in downtown Marietta, Georgia. The source observed the county previously granted approximately US$1.3 million in incentives to thyssenkrupp to build its North American headquarters, and the OEM plans to spend US$16.4 million on furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Schindler Wins Maintenance Contract With NBA Arena
Schindler has been awarded a contract to provide full maintenance on vertical-transportation equipment at the Spectrum Center Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company announced in April. The contract covers seven elevators, five escalators and two wheelchair lifts at the arena in Uptown Charlotte, home to the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Charlotte Hornets.
The contract, with the Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority, is a five-year deal. “Schindler has a long-standing relationship with the Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority,” said Greg Ergenbright, president of U.S. operations for Schindler. The indoor arena, which opened in October 2005, seats 19,077 for NBA games but can be expanded to 20,200 for college basketball games.
Salesforce Tower Named “Best Tall Building”
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) named San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower as the “2019 Best Tall Building Worldwide” at its Tall + Urban Innovation Conference in Shenzhen, China, on April 8-10. Part of the 17th annual CTBUH Awards, where Award of Excellence Winners competed for 20 category distinctions from a pool of 65 total projects, other category winners included the Ping An Finance Center (Best Tall Building ≥ 400 m) and Shenzhen Energy Headquarters, both in Shenzhen. Salesforce Tower was also Best Tall Building 300-399 m.
Described by Best Tall Building Jury Chair Karl Fender, founding partner, Fender Katsalidis Architects, as a “building that gives back,” Salesforce Tower was recognized for its multipronged focus on occupant health, sustainability, structural efficiency and a significant level of integration with the surrounding urban habitat. CTBUH added, “The building stands as the centerpiece of a new transit-oriented, mixed-use neighborhood recently freed up for development following the demolition of an aging transit center. The result is not just a contribution to the city skyline, but a highly successful exercise in human-centric and resilient design for tall buildings.
Honors for 181 Fremont (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2019), also in San Francisco, include the Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering awards. It was also recognized with an Award of Excellence in the 200-299-m-tall category. thyssenkrupp pointed out the elevators it installed there are “the only elevators in North America that can be used during an emergency or evacuation.” Developed by Jay Paul Co., 181 Fremont is the tallest mixed-use tower west of the Mississippi River.
The CTBUH Annual Awards program recognizes projects that and individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level. The objective is to deliver a comprehensive and sophisticated view of important buildings, spaces and technologies, while advocating for improvements in every aspect of performance, especially those that have the greatest effect on the people who use them each day. For a list and description of all winners, visit CTBUH at tallinnovation2019.com/2019-winners.