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L.A. is a construction hotspot.

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A new rendering shows Oceanwide Plaza’s proximity to the Staples Center; courtesy of Visualhouse/Oceanwide Plaza.

Mitsubishi Electric Riding High on L.A. Activity

The construction boom in Los Angeles is resulting in significant work for vertical-transportation companies, including the Cypress, California-based division of Mitsubishi Electric, which recently installed or will install nearly 100 units in various projects downtown. Recently won contracts in the South Park area include the US$1-billion Oceanwide Plaza being developed by Beijing’s Oceanwide near the Staples Center and the first phase of Metropolis, a mega project north of L.A. Live being developed by the Greenland Group of Shanghai (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2011). In South Park, Mitsubishi Electric recently installed or will soon install:

  • Four high-speed elevators for Metropolis’ 40-story apartment tower and six high-speed elevators for its 20-story hotel
  • 13 high-speed gearless, 23 Diamond Trac machine-room-less and three hydraulic elevators, and 12 escalators for a trio of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers
  • 33 elevators and escalators for L.A. Live
  • Five elevators for The Broad, a contemporary art museum featuring a three-story, cylindrical lift and a 30,000-lb. freight elevator “the size of a living room”

Mike Corbo, general manager and executive vice president of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Elevator and Escalator Division, said the company “is excited to be playing an integral role in the exponential growth and amazing transformation of downtown L.A.”

Glassy, Striated High Rise for Downtown L.A.

Developer Mitsui Fudosan America and architect Johnson Fain hope to start construction in March 2018 on a 42-story tower in downtown Los Angeles’ Financial District that would house approximately 430 residences and 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, The Architects Newspaper reported. Called Fig & Eighth Tower, the glassy, striated structure would join new developments including the city’s new tallest building, the Wilshire Grand Center (EW, May 2016), and a new Whole Foods Market. An eight-level, 479-stall parking garage, which includes four below-ground levels, is also planned. The team hopes to have the building open for occupancy in 2020.

New Renderings Showcase L.A. “Mega-Project”

Oceanwide Real Estate Group has released new renderings showcasing its US$1-billion Oceanwide Plaza “mega-project” in downtown Los Angeles close to the Staples Center, Architects Newspaper reported. RTKL designed the development, for which Lerch Bates Inc. is designing the vertical-transportation system (EW, July 2015). A 677-ft.-tall, 49-story building will house a Park Hyatt hotel and condominiums, and a pair of 530-ft.-tall, 40-story towers will house condominiums. There will also be a 100-ft.-tall retail podium.

San Diego Redevelopment in Early Stages

A 480-ft.-tall observation tower is included in plans for “Seaport San Diego,” a US$1.2-billion venture to be built over the next decade to replace Seaport Village, The San Diego Union Tribune reported. A consortium of developers from across the country, operating as “1HWY1,” is also to include a partially underground aquarium; three hotels; shops and restaurants; 30 acres of new parkland, beach and promenades; and upgraded ship and boat facilities.

Areas total 390,000 sq. ft. for shops and restaurants; 19,000 sq. ft. of office space for marine-oriented businesses; a 65,000-sq.-ft. maritime-oriented educational institute; and a tuna harbor large enough to accommodate 51 commercial fishing slips, 82 recreational boat slips and 24 mega-yacht slips. Construction is planned for 2020 and to be completed in phases between 2022 and 2025. Major portions could be ready for the 2024 Olympics if they are held in Los Angeles. However, the next step for the project is to win approval from the California Coastal Commission.

Price of Escalators over Las Vegas Avenue Prompts Grumbles

Sixteen new escalators to pedestrian bridges over Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas will cost an additional US$419,573, and the Nevada Transportation Board is unhappy with the rising costs associated with the overall US$30-million project that has been in the works since 2003, the Las Vegas Sun reported. The Las Vegas Convention Center is funding US$19 million of the project, with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) funding the rest. The general contractor initially gave a lower price estimate before realizing the lower-cost new escalators were not compatible with the project. The new units are being ordered from Otis.

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