Important industry retirement, hirings

ODA New York is responsible for the segmented design for a new residential tower planned at 303 East 44th Street.

DeNardo, Key Player on 1 WTC, Retires

Mike DeNardo, construction supervisor on 1 World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City (NYC) for ThyssenKrupp, has retired. DeNardo played a significant role in installation of the vertical-transportation system for the landmark, working onsite with the general contractor and other trades to stay on schedule, order equipment and ensure safety precautions were taken. During the years-long assignment, DeNardo oversaw the hoisting of heavy and large pieces of ThyssenKrupp equipment such as escalators, and met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local One of New York and New Jersey hosted a retirement party for him at Beekman Pub in NYC on November 13.

Lerch Bates Adds Staff in Pacific Northwest, New England

Lerch Bates Inc. has hired consultants Carl G. Cary for its Pacific Northwest region and Peter Wallack for its New England region. Cary will provide elevator consulting services for new equipment and modernization design, maintenance auditing and due-diligence studies and services. He will oversee vertical-transportation studies, construction services and vertical-transportation maintenance evaluation. He previously was district sales manager for Won-Door Corp., where he oversaw sales and consulting in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. He provided American Institute of Architects-certified presentations and compiled sales-forecasting studies. Cary also has experience in new installation and sales for KONE and ThyssenKrupp. He studied at the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson, Nevada.

Wallack is a 30-year veteran of the vertical-transportation industry. In his new role he assists architects, building owners and developers with their vertical-transportation needs. He creates and develops schematic designs, reviews bid submissions and negotiates with equipment manufacturers. During his 15-year tenure with Boston-based Otis subsidiary Delta Beckwith Elevator Co., he served as director of Operations, Accessibility and New Equipment Sales. He is familiar with both custom and OEM products, and holds a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He continued his education with graduate studies in Civil Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston.

SOM-Designed Residential Tower in San Francisco

Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) is partnering with developer Related California on a 39-story residential building at 1500 Mission Street and South Van Ness in San Francisco, Architect’s Newspaper reported. To take shape on the site of Goodwill Industries, the building would incorporate an existing historic clock tower from the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant and have some stores and offices. It is set to contain 560 apartments, some of which will be “affordable.” No timeframe was given for the project.

Big Apple Buildings

A wealth of highrises are announced and near completion, among other news.

Escalators Showcased in New 30 Hudson Yards Renderings

In light of securing tenant KKR & Co. for 343,000 sq. ft. on the top 10 floors of its 90-story New York City (NYC) office tower, 30 Hudson Yards, developers Related Cos. and Oxford Properties have released new renderings, some of which show the building’s vertical-transportation system, New York YIMBY reported. The images are by architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and show escalators carrying passengers to a white-marbled elevator lobby. Private equity firm KKR follows anchor tenant Time Warner into 30 Hudson Yards, scheduled for completion in 2020. The building is envisioned as standing 1,296 ft. and achieving Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Gold certification.

MTA Paving Way for LIRR Concourse Escalators

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has started excavation work at Grand Central Station that will pave the way for the first pair of escalators linking Grand Central to the new Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) concourse being built underneath it, CBS New York reported. The work that began in late 2015 is expected to take 12-18 months, at which point the space will be sealed off until the concourse is closer to opening, which is anticipated in 2022. The escalators will carry passengers 180 ft. between the concourse and Grand Central in approximately 2 min.

Part of East Side Access, the largest transportation construction project underway in the U.S., the US$430-million contract to build the concourse is being handled by GCT Constructors, JV, which consists of Schlavone Construction Co. and John P Picone, Inc. Schindler is the elevator subcontractor. In mid to late 2016, escalators and an elevator are to be installed in Grand Central’s historic Biltmore Room. The entire East Side Access project is approximately 60% complete, and is expected to dramatically increase accessibility from Long Island to Manhattan and ease traffic congestion.

New Lower Manhattan Landmark Nearly Complete

The 63-story, 784-m-tall residential tower at 50 West Street in southwest Lower Manhattan was approaching exterior completion in late 2015 and is expected to open later this year, New York YIMBY reported. The building was designed by Helmut Jahn and features a glassy façade that facilitates impressive views of the harbor, Hudson River, New Jersey, World Trade Center and Financial District. It promises to be the fourth-tallest residential tower in downtown Manhattan and will join northern neighbors 30 Park Place (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2015) and 56 Leonard (EW, March 2015).

Mixed-Use Tower Nears Completion in Midtown South

The Durst Organization’s 479-ft.-tall, 41-story EŌS building at 855 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) in Midtown South (EW, October 2014) is nearly complete, New York YIMBY reported. One of the Midtown South projects halted by the financial crisis of 2008, the plan was reborn in early 2014, thanks to the Durst family, with a new, sleek design by Cook+Fox. It has a five-story podium, retail on the lower two floors and office with residences above them. There will be separate elevators for office workers and residential tenants. New York YIMBY observes the building fills a longtime gap in the neighborhood, and will boast views of both bustling nearby streets and landmarks such as the Empire State Building.

“Crowd Pleasing” Macklowe Condo Tower for Midtown

A 490-ft.-tall, 35-story condominium tower with ground-level retail, designed by CetraRuddy and developed by Macklowe Properties, was poised to start taking shape at 200 East 59th Street in Midtown in late 2015, New York YIMBY reported. At the corner of Third Avenue, the building has a design that hearkens to 1960s-era Modernism with an exterior mixing glass and a “basket weave of metals.” New York YIMBY called the plan “crowd pleasing” and observed it promises to enhance both skyline and neighborhood. The building is set to contain close to 70 spacious residences with terraces. As of November, no completion date had been announced, but structures on the site had been demolished.

De Blasio, State Clash over Mechanic Licensing

In November 2015, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was battling state officials opposing legislation that would see the state license mechanics and others who oversee the maintenance of some 70,000 elevators in the city’s high-rise buildings. According to the New York Post, the measure would also require that elevator mechanics undergo “extensive training before obtaining a license,” something it notes is a requirement in some other states.

The proposal would also create a nine-member board appointed by the governor and legislative leaders to monitor elevator-safety issues. The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 supports the bill. While that organization and other supporters point to recent elevator-related deaths, the de Blasio administration believes a state law is unnecessary, because the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) already has strong elevator- licensing regulations and oversight, while data show elevator use has become safer. There were 50 NYC elevator accidents last year, down from 105 accidents in 2007 – a 52% reduction. Current city rules require building owners to hire a DOB-licensed “elevator agency director” with 10 years of experience handling elevators. Elevator inspectors working under the director are also licensed.

First U.S. Supertall Outside of Manhattan Planned in Brooklyn

The first supertall outside of Manhattan is planned in downtown Brooklyn at 340 Flatbush Avenue Ext., a 1,000-ft.-tall residential/commercial tower by JDS Development and SHoP Architects, New York YIMBY reported. They also make up the team responsible for the superslim, supertall 111 West 57th Street taking shape in Manhattan (EW, March 2015). With a preliminary ratio of 12:1, 340 Flatbush Avenue Ext. will be twice as wide as the Manhattan tower but still slim for Brooklyn. Like its Manhattan counterpart, the Brooklyn building looks to include a historic component in the form of a turn-of-the-century bank building that will likely be preserved. The project looks to be completed in 2019.

Downtown Brooklyn Office Tower to Help Fulfill Demand

A 600-ft.-tall office tower planned by JEMB Realty in downtown Brooklyn at 420 Albee Square promises to help fulfill demand for office space in the area, where vacancy rates are hovering at around 3%, Bloomberg News reported. Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect for what promises to be one of the tallest buildings in Brooklyn, a borough that is seeing a flurry of residential high-rise development. The US$300-million building is set to contain approximately 400,000 sq. ft. JEMB aims to break ground sometime before the end of 2016 and wrap up construction in approximately 18 months.

Segmented Tower Would Cut Striking Midtown Profile

Developer Triangle Assets plans to start construction in spring 2016 on a 41-story residential tower at 303 East 44th Street in Midtown with an interesting segmented design by ODA New York, The Real Deal reported. The floors are separated by biomechanical-looking white columns that would house outdoor gardens for residents starting on the 23rd floor and above. One of numerous unique designs planned in Midtown, the building will boast what promises to be a future must-have in its outdoor sky gardens, ODA New York founder Eran Chen observed.

High-Rise Apartment Towers for Brooklyn Waterfront

Construction is expected to start in the first part of 2016 on 30- and 40-story apartment towers on the East River in Brooklyn, Real Estate Weekly reported. To take shape in the Greenpoint area, the towers are part of a 22-acre site master planned by Handel Architects and James Corner Field Operations set to include a promenade, public pier and public park. The buildings will boast views of the Manhattan skyline and contain approximately 780 units of a planned 5,500 if the project is fully built. Completion of the towers – representing phase one – is scheduled for 2019. Brookfield Property Partners is the developer in a joint venture with Park Tower Group. 

Stylish Residential Tower at 1865 Broadway

New York YIMBY has revealed renderings showing a stylish residential tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill at 1865 Broadway. With a concrete façade, a parapet at 417.5 ft. and four floors of lower-level retail, the building promises to be part of a pedestrian resurgence of the area near Central Park that has occurred since construction of the Time Warner Center. AvalonBay Communities is the developer. As of October 2015, a construction timeframe had not been announced, but demolition of the former American Bible Society building was foreseen as imminent. The site is across the street from 15 Central Park West, also known as Limestone Jesus, a fashionable address for celebrities.

Work in Seattle

Residential demand breeds tall buildings.

Apartment Skyscraper Rising in Seattle

A 41-story apartment tower with nearly 400 units, one of a number of new apartment projects in the city, is rising at 1812 Boren Avenue in Seattle, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. Scheduled to be complete in mid 2017, the development will have an array of layouts and price points designed to appeal to Seattle’s many technology employees. Clad in glass-and-metal panels, the building is being developed by AMLI Residential of Chicago and Mortensen Development Inc. of Minneapolis.

Proposal Points to Seattle’s Continued Popularity

A 41-story residential tower with a shape that brings to mind MAD’s Absolute World Towers in Mississauga, Canada, (ELEVATOR WORLD, October and November 2013) by ZGF and Cotter Architects is on the drawing boards in downtown Seattle, Architect’s Newspaper reported, which indicates the Pacific Northwest city’s continued popularity as a skyscraper hotspot. It’s anticipated construction will start in fall 2016 at 2014 Fairview Avenue, within walking distance of the new Amazon Campus being built. A strip mall currently on the property would be demolished.

Technix 2016: Envision Automated Transit Coming Up

The Advanced Transit Association (ATRA), University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation and Technology, and Southern Illinois University invite interested parties to attend Technix 2016: Envision Automated Transit (EAT) on January 9 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the atrium of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. EAT will be a continuation of the Envisioning Automated Vehicles with the Built Environment workshops hosted by the Transportation Research Board and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International at past Automated Vehicle Symposiums. During those, participants were divided into groups and assigned scenarios and sites around which to design. EAT will be similar, with emphasis on automated transit. The annual ATRA business meeting will follow. Full information may be found at website: advancedtransit.org/library/news/technix-2016-envision-automated-transit-eat.

Door Controller Updated

Siemens has expanded the technology of its door management system SIDOOR (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2015) related to its application areas and optimized the controller to include modern electronically commutated (EC) motors. EC motors offer increased service lives and faster acceleration. During the commissioning phase, the “intelligent” system calculates the optimal drive characteristics at the door and ensures they are continuously maintained in accordance with application guidelines. Siemens explained, “There is a need for control engineers to maximize their efficiency and reduce errors. Control products like elevator door management systems should help meet those needs. They should save time and effort for every application.” 

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Elevator World | January 2016 Cover