Innovation Industries, Independence Elevator, Stiltz and Man-D-Tec see acquisitions, launch and expansions.

Large rectangular façade projections that frame the upper portions of the new towers are intended to give the buildings asymmetrical heft (rendering courtesy of Gensler

Innovation Industries Buys Monitor Controls

Halma plc announced its divestment of Monitor Controls, part of its Infrastructure Safety sector, in June. The elevator-fixture manufacturer was sold to Innovation Industries Inc. While Monitor Controls and Janus Elevator Products have had a close operating relationship since each was acquired by Halma, Monitor Controls was spun off as an independent company in 2011. The sale of Monitor Controls aligns Halma’s Infrastructure Safety sector more closely with its mission to “detect hazards to protect assets and people in public spaces and commercial buildings.” Janus safety edges, emergency phones and digital displays promote safe elevator travel and security.

Mike Byrne, Janus president, explained:

“It will be business as usual for Janus following the sale of Monitor. We will continue to focus on delivering elevator safety and communications products. . . . Looking forward, we’re excited to roll out the new Panorama Multimedia Ultra-Wide LCD display and continue to develop our Panachrome line of unique elevator detection and visual warning edges.”

Janus, also part of Halma’s Infrastructure Safety sector, which manufactures communication systems, is not affected by the sale.

DiPaolos Launch Independence Elevator

The wife and husband team of Amy and Pete DiPaolo have launched Independence Elevator Co. in Bridgewater, New Jersey, an International Union of Elevator Constructors shop that will perform service, repair, modernization and new installation. Most recently vice president of Hudson Elevator Group in Staten Island, New York, Amy DiPaolo has 24 years of management, sales and leadership experience. An agreement between the DiPaolos and Hudson owners Brian Farley and Tom Lionetti transfers Hudson’s New Jersey accounts to Independence, allowing Hudson to focus on its core New York market. Amy DiPaolo stated:

“I am excited about this acquisition, [which promises] to benefit Hudson, Independence and our customers. In this industry, rarely do employees and their former employers have a relationship that allows an agreement such as this. We hope to pave the way for more independents to work together to gain more market share and give customers choices.”

DiPaolo will be majority owner in the company and plans to pursue Women Business Enterprise status for it.

Stiltz Enters Country with Facility, Website

U.K.-based domestic-lift specialist Stiltz Lifts has expanded its operations to the U.S. In response to what it calls “the increasing demand for home elevators in the country,” Stiltz opened an operations center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and launched a new website (www.stiltzlifts.com). The expansion into America comes less than a year after the company doubled its manufacturing and warehouse space in Suzhou, China (EW, September 2013).

Founded by Australian duo Cameron Gillespie and Lachlan Faulkner in the U.K. in 2010, the home lift supplier has experienced rapid growth and more than quadrupled its sales during that time. Faulkner, the company’s director of Business Development, commented:

“We are delighted to have expanded our business into the U.S. after achieving our initial objectives in our first four years of business in the U.K. The U.S. home elevator market represents a massive opportunity for Stiltz as awareness grows about lifts for the home. It is a significant milestone for the company to open a new base in America, and we look forward to building our strength in the sector.”

Man-D-Tec Expands Purchasing Department

Man-D-Tec, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has added Suzanne Mandy to its purchasing team. Mandy has experience in multiple industries. Her duties at Man-D-Tec include coordinating inventory, streamlining the ordering process and integrating a new barcode system.

Transitions, Promotions and Hires

Brugg Announces  Management Moves

Brugg Lifting, with U.S. headquarters in Rome, Georgia, has announced several management changes, including Douglas Ingenthron moving from general manager to vice president of Sales and Marketing for North America. In his new duties, Ingenthron is charged with growing Brugg’s product distribution network, improving customer-service capabilities, coordinating U.S. marketing efforts and monitoring lead generation. Prior to joining Brugg in 2012, he was director of Sales and Marketing for Alimak Hek in Houston, a city to which he will return in his new role at Brugg.

In addition, Brugg’s General Manager of Worldwide Elevator Ropes David Frei, based in Switzerland, will serve remotely as general manager of the U.S. facility. Director of Operations Joseph Thompson is transitioning into the position of interim general manager.

Martin Rhiner is remaining as vice president of Engineering and Quality, a role in which he will continue to promote the company’s continuing-education initiatives. Ken Jones will report to Rhiner as Quality manager of the Rome operations.

Lerch Bates Expands U.S. Pacific Northwest Consultant Staff

Lerch Bates Inc. has named Cory Hunter consultant, bringing the number of consultants reporting to the company’s U.S. Pacific Northwest office in Seattle to seven. Based in Portland, Oregon, Hunter has 16 years of industry experience. He previously managed Centric Elevator Corp. in Portland, where his specialties were growth-strategy development, modernization and maintenance. Lerch Bates notes he was instrumental in Centric’s growth, leading notable projects such as the modernization of the vertical-transportation system at Oregon Health & Science University. A QEI, Hunter developed a written maintenance control program for use in the Northwest. He holds a BS degree from Oregon State University, a PhD in lift-engineering management and an MBA. 

Lerch Bates Promotes Welts to Regional Manager, San Francisco

After naming Ron Welts Elevator Consulting Group project manager of the San Francisco office in April (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2014), Welts has been promoted by Lerch Bates Inc. to regional manager of the office. He has 20 years of industry experience, including installation superintendent for KONE and various roles with Otis. Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan stated:

“[Welts] has been an invaluable addition to our San Francisco team. Under his leadership, Lerch Bates has rapidly grown in the region, and many new projects have come to fruition.”

Draka Elevator Welcomes Jones as Marketing Coordinator

Draka Elevator Products in Rocky Mount, N.C., a division of the Prysmian Group, has named Matt Jones Marketing coordinator. Jones previously worked at Draka as an intern in summer 2013. His new duties, which became effective in June, include providing sales and marketing support to Draka management. He reports to Director of Sales/Americas Eric Lazear. Jones holds a BA in Business Management from Wingate University and an MBA from the University of Tampa.

Codes and Safety

Changes in inspection protocol and examining the main cause of escalator accidents

Washington State Dealing with New Inspection Rules

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) inspectors and elevator/escalator maintenance companies are working to play catch up nearly a year after rules requiring companies to file approved maintenance control programs with the state went into effect, The News Tribune reports. The rules, which also require companies to keep better records of their maintenance work, came in the wake of a pair of escalator accidents a few years ago in which several people were injured and one died. Despite Washington’s elevators outnumbering escalators considerably, the lion’s share of accidents takes place on escalators: between 2008 and 2014, there were 318 accidents with injury on the 503 escalators under state jurisdiction and 124 such incidents on 16,400 elevators. Less than a third of those escalators received required annual safety inspections last year, and approximately a quarter of those inspected have no record of being fixed, a situation Washington’s Chief Inspector Jack Day said is due in part to the year of transitioning to the new rules, as well as inspector attrition. Despite escalator accidents seldom being caused by faulty equipment, he said, the rules will result in safer equipment and fewer accidents in the long run. KREM TV reports L&I wants newer-model escalators equipped with comb-impact switches, which automatically shut units off if objects such as shoelaces or clothing become caught in the combplates. As of now, units manufactured prior to 1995 are not required to have switches. 

Luggage Main Culprit in Escalator Mishaps at Sea-Tac

A review of escalator-injury accidents at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) reveals that wheeled luggage, rather than mechanical problems, trigger most accidents, The News Tribune reports. According to the Washington Department of Labor and Industry, there were 175 accidents with injury on the airport’s 79 escalators between 2008 and 2014, but only three were attributed to mechanical problems. The majority of the rest involved people carrying luggage. Sea-Tac has signage directing people toward elevators and broadcasts frequent escalator-safety messages, but airport officials said there is only so much they can do, since people cannot be forced to take elevators if they are overloaded with luggage or otherwise impaired. During peak travel times, approximately 100,000 passengers pass through Sea-Tac each day.

Hawaii Elevator Rules Get Tougher

Hawaii continues to move toward more stringent elevator inspection and reporting, with new rules that went into effect June 30 requiring each unit to have a maintenance control program and its permit displayed prominently, West Hawaii Today reports. It’s the latest in a move toward greater oversight that, in 2013, saw the state reduce its annual elevator inspection backlog of approximately 5,000 by about 30%. That was due to legislation enabling Hawaii to double its number of inspectors to 13. Hawaii’s acting Supervising Elevator Inspector Thad Tomei said the new rules will result in greater costs for property owners and managers, but that increased public safety is worth it. 

L.A.’s Metropolis Breaks Ground, Adds Buildings

Los Angeles Downtown News has reported on the ceremonial groundbreaking of the South Park, Los Angeles, development called “Metropolis” (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2014). In addition to the aforementioned 38-story condominium building and 19-story hotel, a second phase will add two taller residential high rises, 54- and 40-story residential units. Both will rise from an eight-story podium structure that incorporates two stories of retail along Francisco and Eighth streets, along with some apartments and parking. Developer Greenland Group and project architect Gensler hope to break ground on that phase by the end of fall. Construction on each phase is to continue for four and five years, respectively.

Schindler Elevator Corp. Honored for “Green” Factory

Schindler Elevator Corp., the North American arm of Schindler, and its general contractor, Conewago Enterprises, Inc., were honored by Associated Builders & Contractors for achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for a new manufacturing facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Opened in February, the 150,000-sq.-ft. building has sustainability elements that include a 665-kW, 2,176 solar-panel installation; a zero-discharge water system; and two electrical charging stations for vehicles. Schindler reports this is the first elevator manufacturing plant in North America to receive LEED Gold certification.

New US$1-Billion Airport for Salt Lake City

Energy-efficient moving walks, escalators and elevators will be part of a new US$1-billion Salt Lake City International Airport, a long-term project embarked on in July, Deseret News reports. The project, which will replace the current airport, includes a three-story terminal designed by San Francisco-based HOK that will have floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight Utah’s beauty, a large meeting area for arriving and departing Mormon missionaries and easily available WiFi. Energy-efficient horizontal and vertical transportation units are among features airport officials hope will result in a 30% reduction in energy bills. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.

NYC and Surrounding Area Projects

Tall residential towers planned for Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.

World’s Tallest Residential Tower Planned in NYC

Should it be built, the 1,479-ft.-tall Nordstrom Tower proposed for Midtown Manhattan, New York, would surpass the 1,451-ft.-tall Willis Tower in Chicago and World One Tower in Mumbai as the world’s tallest residential building, New York YIMBY reports. With its spire, Nordstrom, located at 225 West 57th Street, would stand 1,775 ft., 1 ft. shorter than One World Trade Center. It is being designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, and features setbacks, steel fins and aluminum louvers. Should it gain financing, the building would join a “supertall” construction boom underway in New York City (NYC).

Upper West Side Residential Tower Tops Out

40 Riverside Boulevard, a primarily residential building representing the final piece of the Riverside Center project on the Upper West Side of NYC, has topped out at 105 m and 33 stories, New York YIMBY reports. Although it will be dwarfed by its neighbors, 40 Riverside Boulevard will be visible from New Jersey and promises to enhance the walkability of its neighborhood. Housing close to 300 apartments, in addition to commercial and community space, the building was designed by Goldstein Hill & West and is expected to be finished in 2015.

New Renderings Reveal Brooklyn Tower Details

New renderings reveal details about the 32-story BAM South development at 286 Ashland Place in Brooklyn, New York, for which excavation is underway, New York YIMBY reports. Being developed by Two Trees, the primarily residential building will boast cultural space, elevated public space and extensive landscaping. Its appearance is relatively sleek and modern, and it would rival its neighbor Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower in significance. Completion is anticipated in August 2016.

3 Hudson Boulevard Planned Near Hudson Yards

Details have emerged about the 1,050-ft.-tall 3 Hudson Boulevard, set to take shape just north of 55 Hudson Yards in NYC, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by FXFOWLE, the building is set to contain an array of tenants, including, most likely, residents on the upper floors. Fronting the new Hudson Boulevard, the development will fill a previously empty piece of Manhattan property. The plan includes pedestrian-friendly landscaping and impressive views of Midtown NYC. Completion is expected in 2018.

60-Story Tower to Add to NYC’s “Auto Row”

The Real Deal reported that developer Moinian Group is looking to exchange approximately 34,000 sq. ft. of retail space in its under-construction glass-fronted tower at the edge of 11th Avenue’s “Auto Row” in New York City (NYC) to make way for a car dealership. The first 12 stories of the 60-story mixed-use building had been erected as of July at 605 West 42nd Street. Original plans called for nearly 44,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the ground level and in the cellar, but the company is now proposing using most of that space for the dealership.

Tall Jersey City Proposal Requires Legislation

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a venture capitalist wants to build a US$4.6-billion casino in Jersey City, a project that would include a 90-plus-story hotel and residential tower. However, the plan would only be possible if New Jersey made a major policy change to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City. An investor in the proposal, Reebok founder Paul Fireman, is behind the latest push to change the state’s gambling laws. Another proponent is State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who stated such a tall structure is needed to be an attraction with a pull strong enough to go beyond cutting into Atlantic City’s business and compete with such gambling destinations as Macau. Other aspects of the development would include the world’s largest Ferris wheel and a car-racing stadium with more than 100,000 seats.

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Elevator World | September 2014 Cover