Elevator companies add to payroll, property.

The 43-story Park Tower at Transbay will be a striking addition to the San Francisco skyline; image from The John Buck Co.

Nidec Investing in IE Ohio Factory Expansion

Imperial Electric’s (IE) parent company, Nidec Corp., has announced a US$3.2-million investment in its Middleport, Ohio, plant to keep the IE facility open and to update aging equipment. According to the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel, the company began its expansion in August by adding 18 new employees. In addition to “a major overhaul in terms of equipment” so the company can “keep pace with the expanding elevator industry,” a new roof, paint and lighting will be added.

Pradeep Sood, president of Nidec Corp.’s elevator and drive systems business, added, “We’re already seeing benefits of our strategy to modernize the Middleport facility, taking advantage of its central location and highly skilled workforce.” IE manufactures elevator engines and other products used by the elevator industry.

KONE Acquires City Elevator

KONE has acquired City Elevator Co. of New York City (NYC). Operating in the area since 2002, City Elevator is a full-service provider that maintains a large portfolio of commercial, institutional and residential service accounts. According to its website, City Elevator has a 20,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and machine shop located 12 mi. from Midtown Manhattan, and a workforce that boasts more than 600 years of collective industry experience. Observing that KONE looks forward to serving the New York area, KONE Americas Executive Vice President Larry Wash stated: “The New York metropolitan area represents a key market for KONE, and we are excited to welcome City Elevator employees and customers.”

Work on New PME Plant Underway

Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) has broken ground on a planned 25,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in a new Mt. Vernon, Virginia, industrial park. PME has outgrown its current location, an old two-story shoe factory where manufacturing space is segmented. The new manufacturing site will increase productivity and efficiency by being larger and keeping all of the production on one level. The company has been constructing modular elevators since 1995. Construction is slated to be finished by the end of the year.

Bigge to Acquire Alimak Rental Operation

Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, has agreed to acquire the Atlanta-based rental operation of Alimak Group for US$2.4 million. Predating the merger of Alimak and Hek in 1999, the rental business has operated as a separate unit within U.S. operations of the Swedish company. Alimak observes “the divestment will allow a stronger focus on product sales as well as after-sales service supporting Alimak’s entire product portfolio in the U.S. and Canada.” Bigge said the deal, expected to close by year’s end, will enhance its existing locations and expertise in the rental of construction hoists and related equipment. Alimak’s rental business serves customers in France, the Benelux Union, Germany and Australia, and sells used equipment. 

Lerch Bates Celebrates Larger Location with Open House

Lerch Bates Inc. hosted an open house for approximately 75 guests on September 14 to welcome its new, larger Global Support Center in Englewood, Colorado, to which it moved from Middleton, Colorado. Noting its number of worldwide staff has grown by 42% and headquarters staff by 24% over the past two years, Lerch Bates said it requires the additional space to “meet the needs of our rapidly growing firm.” The new location is at 9780 S. Meridian Boulevard, Suite 450.

Schindler Providing Lifts for One of San Francisco’s Tallest

The John Buck Co. has selected Schindler to supply and install 20 elevators, including 18 7000 high-rise Occupant Evacuation Operation (OEO) units equipped with PORT destination-dispatch technology, for the 43-story, 605-ft.-tall Park Tower at Transbay in San Francisco (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2015). Park Tower will be the first building to implement Schindler’s OEO solution, which interfaces with the building’s fire-protection system to facilitate faster evacuation. Upon completion, Park Tower will be among the tallest buildings in the city. Its design, by Chicago’s Goettsch Partners, features multiple sky decks and 751,500 sq. ft. of class-A office space and retail.

Residential Dumbwaiter Popularity Rises

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that dumbwaiters are making a comeback in expensive homes. The devices are seen as a solution in flood-prone areas where stilt homes are popular and give Victorian-styled homes authenticity, especially versions powered by hand. As 43.6% of for-sale homes with dumbwaiters were priced over US$1 million, most of the segment is in the upper end of the market.

While only 8% of existing dumbwaitered homes in the U.S. were built between 1850 and 1950, today, 45% of homes listed with dumbwaiters were built after 1999. The article quotes ELEVATOR WORLD Correspondent Dr. Lee Gray as explaining the gap: the first electric models appeared in the early 20th century, but when the depression hit, the market effectively dried up.

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Elevator World | November 2016 Cover