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New escalators and elevators are part of the renovation (image courtesy of Simon Property Group).

Work planned, continues throughout metropolis.

90-Story Manhattan Tower Height Surprises Residents

A 900-ft.-tall, 90-story luxury apartment is being developed by Bauhouse Group near 434 East 58th Street in Manhattan. The tower, which NYDailyNews.com reported was to initially be 30 stories “at most,” is now to be one of the tallest residential towers in the city and loom over the neighborhood of Sutton Place. Air rights were sold for US$11 million, but now that the new height has been announced, opposition has formed against the “ultraluxury” development. Arthur Schwartz, a spokesman for a number of nearby building residents, stated:

“It appears the developer got the residents to sell the air rights by misleading them into believing the building would be no more than 30 stories. Before the ink was even dry, the developer turned around and announced plans for a US$1-billion, 90-story megatower, one of the largest condos in the country.”

58-, 44-, 25-Story Towers Rising in Long Island City

A 58-story residential, 44-story mixed-use and 25-story residential tower are among tall buildings taking shape in Long Island City, according to New York YIMBY. The 58-story, 477-unit residential tower, Heatherwood Properties’ 28 on 28th, recently reached 10 stories, and installation of the glass had started. Completion is scheduled for 2017. The building was designed by Goldstein, Hill & West and features a silvery, reflective façade.

Excavation has begun to make way for the 44-story tower at 29-26 Northern Boulevard (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2014). Called QE7, it will have lower-level retail and is scheduled for completion in summer 2018. Foundation work has started for the 25-story, 258-ft.-tall high rise on the site of the formerly proposed “Star Tower,” New York YIMBY also reported in July. It is to have 221,266 sq. ft. and be located at 27-17 42nd Road.

Mixed-Use Tower under Construction in West Chelsea

Lalezarian Properties has started construction on a 35-story mixed-use tower at 323 10th Avenue in West Chelsea, New York YIMBY reported. The tower is accompanied by a pair of 13-story buildings containing 155 residences that have already topped out. Scheduled for completion in fall 2016, the tower was designed by Avinash Malhotra and will have 220 residences and ground-level retail.

33-Story Marriott to Join Residential Tower

Renderings for a 33-story, 345-ft.-tall Marriott hotel planned adjacent to a 50-plus story residential tower at 151 Maiden Lane (EW, August 2014) in the Financial District have been revealed by New York YIMBY. Designed by Peter Poon, the hotel features a glassy façade with a smattering of ripples and very little setback from tower to base. It is set to contain approximately 270 rooms within 110,207 sq. ft. Completion is anticipated in 2017.

Glassy Tower Promises to Help Revive Lower East Side

New renderings of a pair of mostly residential towers planned on the site of an old grocery store at 250 South Street on the Lower East Side show a glassy structure offset by variegated planes standing approximately 700 ft. tall adjacent to a shorter structure, New York YIMBY reported. Developed by Extell and designed by Adamson Associates, the project is comprised of 56- and 13-story towers housing approximately 640 residences, commercial space and ground-floor retail. Indications are the buildings will be finished in 2019.

200-m-Tall Tower for Madison Avenue

Fosun Property has bought land on New York City’s Madison Avenue to build a 200-m-tall-plus luxury residential tower, Forbes reported in June. The building is to contain 174 units on 47 stories across 32,500 m2. U.S. firm Handel Architects is designing it, and it will be jointly developed by Fosun and local partner J.D. Carlisle. The tower is expected to break ground in the third quarter of this year and be completed in 2018.

Plans for Riverside Center Building 1 Released

Plans for Building 1 of Riverside Center, next to West 61st Street and the West Side Highway in Manhattan, have been released, New York YIMBY reported. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and consisting of a pair of 24- and 39-story-tall buildings joined by a podium, the project is set to have rental residential units in the shorter building and condominiums in the taller one. The design includes cutouts in the upper portions of the towers that will be green space, as well as gardens in the multilevel podium. As of May, no completion date had been announced, but permits and fresh renderings suggested groundbreaking was not far off. 

Oleo to Demonstrate Tool at NAEC

U.K.-based Oleo Inc. will be presenting a live demonstration of its new online elevator buffer configuration tool at the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) Convention and Exposition, taking place in Boston on September 28-October 1. Launched in July, the product allows engineers to configure a specific elevator buffer type through Oleo’s own U.S. website. By inserting the maximum impact mass and elevator rated speed, the tool configures buffers to exacting parameters and will suggest the amount of buffers required for an individual elevator application, including what is required for the counterweight.

Jamie Pratt, managing director of Oleo’s elevator division, commented, “The elevator buffer configurator is the final piece in the jigsaw and significantly speeds up the order process for customers.”

Customers are able to pick up the buffers from Oleo’s premises in Atlanta or have the products shipped directly to them. Assisting Oleo in a live demonstration at the event will be the company’s North American sales agent, Lift Solutions Inc., marking the first anniversary of the company’s working relationship with Oleo (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2014). Oleo says this relationship has been key to the successful launch of the elevator buffer configurator.

Unique Car Elevators in Porsche Design Tower

Work is underway on the Porsche Design Tower in the Miami suburb of Sunny Isles Beach, CBS News reported in July. It will include a trio of elevators that carry cars and people to their condos on any of the high rise’s 60 floors. Miami-Dade County Chief Inspector Mike Chavez says the elevator hoistway is the largest he has ever seen and that the elevators will be the first of their kind. They are now being installed under ASME A17.7 performance-based code by Mid-American Elevator Co. of Chicago.

The 132 high-end condos (each starting at US$4 million with some exceeding US$30 million, most of which have been sold) have three panoramic freight elevators to carry both cars and people to their individual garages. The building’s owner, Gil Dezer, said of the units, “To put it simply, it’s nothing different than a freight elevator on steroids. The lift is very, very heavy. It’s about 40,000 lb., but it goes up at 800 fpm.” They are air-conditioned and have fire-suppression capabilities. Porsche designed a device that pulls the car onto the elevator. This is required, since the car must be turned off for the elevator to be considered a freight elevator.

The entire development is to be complete in summer 2016, joining other branded condominium towers in the area like the Armani Casa and Fendi Chateau.

Promotions

Brugg leadership updated, Lerch Bates continues expansion by making former OEM employees consultants.

 Brugg North America’s Thompson Promoted

Brugg Lifting has promoted Joseph Thompson to president and general manager of Brugg Wire Rope North America. Thompson joined the company in 2014, since which time he has served as chief operation officer, deputy CEO and interim general manager. Prior to joining Brugg, Thompson oversaw production operations at Kobelco America, LLC. He will supervise operations from Brugg Wire Rope’s North American headquarters in Rome, Georgia. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University in Greater Atlanta.

Lerch Bates Promotes Consultants in Florida, Ohio

Mike Lagana and Jeremiah Potter have been promoted to general managers of the Florida and Ohio regions, respectively, for Lerch Bates Inc. Both men are described as being instrumental to the company’s growth in their respective areas.

Lagana covers north and central Florida, as well as Puerto Rico, and Potter covers Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Indiana, Virginia and Kentucky. He was a senior account manager and assistant service manager for KONE prior to joining Lerch Bates in 2010. He holds a BS in Business Leadership and Marketing from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

Potter was a territory manager and maintenance supervisor for Otis prior to joining Lerch Bates in 2012. He holds a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Alimak Hek Co-Develops Crane Elevators with U.S. Partner

Sweden’s Alimak Hek has joined forces with Manitowoc Co. Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to develop, produce and distribute specialized internal tower crane elevators. Alimak’s elevators will be adapted to fit Manitowoc cranes, and the crane elevators will be offered by both companies worldwide. Manitowoc will also be the exclusive distributor of an elevator located within a tower crane’s mast. The new solutions will be designed to meet the latest European health and safety regulations and will be available starting in 2016.

OSHA Extends Compliance Deadline for Confined-Spaces Rule

OSHA has extended the deadline from August 3 to October 2 for employers to comply with its new confined-spaces rule (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2015), which provides protections for construction workers but requires education and training. The rule applies to workers in elevator and escalator pits. Companies not in compliance by the original deadline will not be issued citations if they are making good-faith efforts toward education and training. The Associated Builders and Contractors were among trade associations seeking additional time, Engineering News-Record reported. The rule may be read in its entirety at www.osha.gov/confinedspaces.

Elevator Engineer Helps Give WWII Vet a Lift in Boston

Mike Walsh, a Glassboro, New Jersey, elevator engineer and U.S. military veteran, formed nonprofit organization A Lift for a Vet five years ago to continue installing elevators for veterans living in multistory homes after Homes for Our Troops began focusing strictly on building one-story homes, NJ.com reported. Utilizing labor donated by elevator unions, donated equipment and approximately US$30,000 raised each year from a golf fundraiser, A Lift for a Vet has helped elderly military heroes throughout the U.S. Recently, Walsh recalled the heartfelt gratitude he received from Walter Gilbert, a 92-year-old decorated World War II (WWII) veteran in Boston for whom he installed a stairlift. He said performing the work personally gave it even deeper meaning.

KONE in Austin Tower

KONE has won an order to provide 14 elevators at 500 West 2nd Street, a 32-story office tower that is part of Trammell Crow’s redevelopment of the decommissioned Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant site in Austin, Texas. All equipment is manufactured by KONE, including eight MonoSpace® machine-room-less elevators and six EcoSystem MR™ machine-room elevators. All will be equipped with the company’s EcoDisc® hoisting machine. Its Polaris™ destination-control system will also be utilized on 10 of the elevators. In addition to significantly improving efficiency of the elevator system, it will interface with the building’s access-control system.

Denver Getting First New Office Tower in 30 Years

A 40-story, 603-ft.-tall office tower, 1144 Fifteenth, is being built in Denver by developer Hines, The Denver Post reported. It is the first new office tower the city has seen in approximately 30 years. Designed by architect Picard Chilton, the building will feature a glass and aluminum façade, 27 floors of office space, shops, restaurants, a fitness center and outdoor terraces. US$141.3 million is being invested in the building, which, upon completion in January 2018, promises to be the fourth-tallest tower in Denver.

Skyline Rising in Seattle

Emerald City high rises make progress.

“Donut”-Shaped Tower Would Be Second Tallest in Seattle

An 818-ft.-tall, 60-story tower is planned in Seattle, The Seattle Times reported. Should it be built, 888 Second Street would be the second-tallest skyscraper in the city and the fifth tallest on the West Coast. The design, by NBBJ, features an atrium in the building’s center that provides offices with natural light and pedestrians a view to the sky. The structure would also have retail on the ground level and luxury residences on the upper levels. A bank of elevators would be on one side of the atrium with mobile, glass-enclosed meeting “cubes” on the other. The developer, who has several other projects underway in Seattle, aims to apply for a permit for 888 Second Street by the end of the year.

45-Story Hotel a Go in Seattle

A 45-story, 1,264-room hotel atop meeting and retail space is a go in Seattle after the city ruled in favor of developer R.C. Hedreen Co. over the local union, which had been pushing for all hotel employees to be members, The Seattle Times reported. Located in the Denny Triangle, the US$400-million 808 Howell Street project will be larger than the 1,236-room Seattle Sheraton and the largest hotel north of San Francisco. Hotels are consistently full in Seattle, so it is anticipated to be a success. Completion is slated for 2018. 

New Elevators, Escalators Part of D.C. Mall Makeover

Fashion Centre mall at Pentagon City in Washington, D.C., is getting a makeover, and new escalators and elevators are a big part of it, the Washington Business Journal reported. The mall, in business since 1989 and among its owner’s top performers, is remaining open as renovations proceed at night. Besides new equipment, a second elevator is being added to relieve backup at the mall’s escalators. Current renovations are scheduled for completion in the fall, leading up to a 50,000-sq.-ft. expansion that will be complete in spring 2016.

Goettsch Partners Designs San Francisco Tower

Chicago’s Goettsch Partners (GP) has designed a 605-ft.-tall office tower set to take shape in San Francisco’s SOMA (South of Market) district, ArchDaily reported. Park Tower’s design has a glass façade, vertical glass fins and outdoor terraces atop a podium with a 5,000-sq.-ft. outdoor plaza. Construction is expected to begin in October, with the building completed in 2018. GP Principal Scott Seyer said it will “create a timeless aesthetic that will provide a positive addition to the Transbay area, as well as the San Francisco skyline.”

Merlo Honored for Volunteerism

Robert Merlo, owner of the Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co. headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey, received the company’s “Agency Hands in the Community Award” for what NorthJersey.com called “his commitment to helping others.” This award included a US$1,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation for the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF), Merlo’s charity of choice. Merlo is a longtime and current EESF board member and a past president of the Foundation. He is also associated with the National Association of Elevator Contractors.

52-Story Skyscraper Would Be Tampa’s Tallest

A 52-story skyscraper containing retail, parking, offices and condominiums is on the drawing boards in Tampa, Florida, courtesy of developer Feldman Equities, a Florida outfit that already owns 4 million sq. ft. of office space in Tampa and Orlando, The Tampa Tribune reported. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcomed the project, which would take shape on the site of a failed Donald Trump project downtown. At 627 ft., the building would be taller than the Tampa area’s current tallest tower, the 579-ft.-tall Regions tower. Feldman filed plans with the city in July.  

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