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New hires, acquisitions, expansions and foreign investment among recent goings on.

ATIS Makes Key Acquisitions

ATIS Elevator Inspections, a subsidiary of American Testing & Inspection Services in St. Louis, made two key acquisitions in April: Palmetto Safety Inspections, LLC, of Columbia, South Carolina, and A-1 Elevator Inspections, Inc., of New Port Richie, Florida. The companies’ principals, Palmetto founder Jerry Butler and A-1 President Charlie Slater, have joined ATIS as vice presidents overseeing their respective areas. Currently performing inspections in more than 15 states, ATIS has reached its goal of growing to more than 35 employees. ATIS Elevator President J.A. Marchack called the acquisitions instrumental in realizing ATIS’ growth plans.

Turner to Lead Lerch Bates’ Great Lakes Region

Jim Turner has been named project manager, Elevator Consulting Group, for Lerch Bates, Inc.’s Great Lakes Region. Focusing on Chicago, Turner will perform due diligence and provide vertical-transportation consulting for new-installation, maintenance and modernization projects. Turner has more than 22 years of experience, most recently serving as national project developer at KJWW Engineering Consultants. He spent his entire elevator/escalator career with Montgomery Elevator Co. (later KONE). As KONE’s vice president of Modernization, he oversaw new product rollout, sales, engineering and installation. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering Technology from Southern Illinois University and management certification from KONE Executive Edge/London Business School.

Spanish Company Sets up Shop in South Carolina

Hidral USA Inc., a Spain-based manufacturer of freight elevators, platform lifts and reciprocating conveyors, has invested US$1.5 million in an 18,000-sq.-ft. facility in Ridgeway, South Carolina, Area Development Online reports. Hidral’s first location in North America, the facility will initially serve as a sales office with plans to expand into manufacturing over the next five years. Hidral expects to hire approximately 25 people.

NEII Board of Directors, 100-Year Anniversary

The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII®) announced the election of its new board of directors, effective April 29, when NEII’s 80th annual meeting was held in Hartford, Connecticut. The following make up the board for 2014:

  • Richard T. Hussey, president
  • Sterrett Lloyd, vice president
  • Michael Bauschka, treasurer
  • Edward A. Donoghue, secretary
  • Michael Corbo
  • Katsuji Okuda
  • Jakob Züger
  • Lawrence Wash
  • Tom Vining, president, Otis Americas, who is responsible for the overall leadership and operating performance of Otis in North and South America. He has more than 25 years of industry experience.

Excluding Vining, the members are the same as those in 2013, who were profiled in the July 2012 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD. Members of the NEII Trust Committee, which is solely responsible for administering the rights and obligations of NEII, include:

  • Christine Petranchuk, vice president of Human Resources, Otis Americas, with more than 16 years of experience
  • Bruce Brenizer
  • Kara Ekert, vice president of Human Resources, Schindler, with more than 11 years of experience
  • J. Patrick Heaney
  • Charles Moore

Brenizer, Heaney and Moore were also described in the aforementioned issue. This year marks NEII’s 100th anniversary.

CEC Manufacturing Operations Move

ThyssenKrupp Elevator U.S. Manufacturing relocated its Computerized Elevator Control (CEC) manufacturing operations to its Middleton, Tennessee, facility, on March 1. In conjunction with the move, the new SWIFT Futura T, a nonproprietary controller for both new installations and modernizations, was announced. Customers can still obtain technical assistance, parts and component replacements for all SWIFT products. The facility is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified.

Kings III Expands Reach in Puerto Rico

Kings III Emergency Communications, headquartered in Coppell, Texas, has added four elevator-maintenance company partners in Puerto Rico:  Air-Tran, Centro, SkyHigh and Pro-Tech. Company representatives underwent four days of training on equipment installation, maintenance and monitoring in San Juan, conducted by Kings III Vice President of Sales David Bryant; Business Development Manager of the Joint Venture Program Dean Heasley and field technician Martin Cervantes. The partners may now sell Kings III elevator-phone monitoring services to their clients and share in a percentage of the revenue.

NYC, New Jersey Sustain Momentum

Unique architectural designs distinguish proposed projects.

Pair of 60-Story-Tall Towers Proposed in Jersey City

99 Hudson Street, a pair of 60-story towers housing 1,000 residential units, a hotel and retail, is one of the latest projects either proposed or underway in Jersey City, New Jersey, New York YIMBY reports. Plans have been in the works since 2012, when a developer bought the property for US$70 million. No completion date has been announced, although an estimate of 2,000 construction jobs over the next five years suggests the US$450 million project would be complete by 2019.

Renderings Show NYC “Champagne Glass” Tower’s Evolution

New renderings from Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) show how design of the 60-story, 777-ft.-tall 41 East 22nd Street building has evolved, New York YIMBY reports. Described as having a “champagne glass” shape with a stemlike bottom and flutelike top, 41 East 22nd Street will be the tallest building between Midtown and Lower Manhattan in New York City (NYC). Echoing KPF-designed buildings in Hudson Yards on NYC’s West Side (ELEVATOR WORLD, October 2012), it has an exterior dominated by glass, as well as a cantilever arching over neighboring buildings. No completion date had been set, but demolition of existing structures had started in April.

470 Eleventh Avenue Design Inspired by Chinese Lanterns

Archilier Architecture says Chinese lanterns inspired the design of a new mixed-use, 720-ft.-tall tower at 470 Eleventh Avenue, New York YIMBY reports. A rendering of the glittering glass building depicts “alternating volumes and dramatic terraces and sky pools.” Scheduled for completion in 2017, the tower is set to house 51 residences and 401 hotel rooms within its 320,000 sq. ft. Unlike typical NYC high-rise residences and hotels, 470 Eleventh Avenue incorporates a plethora of open-air spaces. It is being developed by Black House, which bought the property and air rights recently for US$115 million. 

Renderings Offer Glimpse of Hudson Yards Possibilities

New renderings of 50 Hudson Yards, a proposed 62-story office tower within Related Co.’s massive Hudson Yards development in NYC, provide a clearer picture of what is envisioned, New York YIMBY reports. While previous renderings were short on detail, ones released by the Piranha design studio show a building with massive floor plates that could appeal to large financial firms desiring flexibility. Based on a tentative completion date of 2018 for neighboring 55 Hudson Yards, 50 Hudson Yards could start taking shape as early as 2020.

Joining Forces

Partnerships promise to help companies expand reach.

SBS, Site Service Software Partner

Technology consultancy SBS Group has partnered with Site Service Software, a software provider to the elevator service and repair industry. Site Service Software will work directly with the newly formed SBS Connecticut office to serve companies within the elevator industry. SBS Group has supplied business-management solutions for more than 25 years to customers nationwide, which include Microsoft Dynamics partners and their customers.

Site Service Software provides industry-specific software, Elevator Site Service (ESS), which integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Designed for companies that provide elevator service, maintenance, repair, modernization, installation and inspection services, ESS is intended to enable clients to manage their businesses more efficiently and quickly resolve problems.

Douglas vanden Bosch, owner of Site Service Software, commented:

“I am thrilled about this new partnership with SBS Group. It will provide significant additional resources to service and support clients and prospective clients, while still maintaining our relationship with SBS Connecticut (formerly CriticalEdge Group).”

SRM Now Powered by Verizon 4G

Schindler Elevator Corp., the North American arm of the Swiss elevator manufacturer, has inked a deal to utilize Verizon’s 4G LTE network coverage for Schindler’s Remote Monitoring service (SRM). SRM provides 24/7 monitoring of customers’ elevator/escalator systems to diagnose malfunctions, relay information to technicians and fix problems quickly. Using Verizon’s wireless network promises to enhance efficiency and result in service that is 22% faster than that of traditional platforms, according to Schindler.

DASNY Hires KONE to Modernize Escalators

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) has hired KONE to modernize 18 escalators at the main campus of Hunter College in New York City. KONE plans to utilize its EcoModTM solution, an approach that involves replacing the units’ entire inner workings. According to KONE, EcoMod is minimally disruptive, cost effective and enhances safety and energy efficiency. Expected to be complete in December 2016, the Hunter College job is the third DASNY EcoMod project.

Metropica Project for Sunrise, Florida

Sunrise, Florida, city officials have approved the US$1-billion Metropica mixed-use project, which has been in the works for more than 10 years. The approval allows for 1,250 high-rise residential units, 485,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 150,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 2-acre public park. The first phase will be condominiums, while commercial tenants are being sought for the future construction. The developer will also fund US$5 million in transportation infrastructure, including a shuttle system. K Group Holdings intends to build the project on 63 acres it owns just west of the Sawgrass Mills Mall along Panther Parkway/Northwest 136th Avenue.

New Elevator World Board Members

Elevator World, Inc. is pleased to announce two new additions to its board of directors: Massimo Bezzi and Bobby Schaeffer. Bezzi has been chairman of I.C.M. s.r.l. in Trento, Italy, since 2008; vice president of the European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises since 2008; and a member of the European Office of Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises for Standardisation and ANACAM (Italian elevator association).

Schaeffer is president of D & D Elevator Maintenance, Inc., which provides maintenance, repair, construction and modernization services to the Greater New York City area. He started his career in 1981 working for Flynn-Hill Elevator Co., and served on the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) Board of Directors for three years and as president of the organization in 2000.

Additionally, Richard Baxter has rejoined the Elevator World board. Baxter, a consultant, has been involved in the elevator contracting industry for 40 years. He was executive vice president and cofounder of Baxter & Sons Elevator Co., Inc. in Dallas, and was an Elevator World technical director for more than 20 years. He is an active member of NAEC and served as its president in 1984.

Bezzi, Schaeffer and Baxter join other EW board members, Jim Green, Jonathan Charest, Jo Vivian Chateau (treasurer), Achim Hutter, Paul Horney, Martha Hulgan, T.Bruce MacKinnon (secretary and vice chair) and Ricia Sturgeon Hendrick (chairman).

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