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Los Angeles Development Breaks Ground

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Nouveau Elevator’s display

J.H. Snyder Development Co.’s high-rise residential project in downtown Los Angeles started construction in May and is expected to be completed in 2014. The Vermont, located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue, will include two towers, a 464-unit apartment complex and retail space, among other amenities. According to Market Watch, the project is the city’s current largest residential development and will bring an estimated 1,800 construction jobs. Once completed, The Vermont will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® certified.

Albuquerque Sunport Solar Panels To Power Elevators

The Albuquerque Sunport Airport in New Mexico plans to install additional solar panels to power its elevators, lights and offices throughout the facility (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2012). In May, the final phase of the project was being prepared. According to Generation Hub™ the airport’s existing solar panels atop the covered parking canopies are expected to generate 600,000 kWh annually and save the City of Albuquerque an annual US$30,000 in energy costs.

Michigan City Hall Upgrades Elevator Controls

The City Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will receive approximately US$810,000 in upgrades to existing elevator controls to improve building traffic. According to City Manager Greg Sundstrom, the upgrades are necessary to avoid an elevator malfunction that would shut down the building. “We have deferred this expense for at least a decade, I would say. I fear we don’t have a choice,” Sundstrom said. The new controls would improve energy-efficiency, be easier to maintain and save an estimated US$30,000 annually. Sunstrom also suggests the building’s center elevators will see improved reliability.

New Boston Skyscraper

A 55-story glass skyscraper is planned for the former Filene’s department store site in Boston, according to the Boston Globe. Millennium Partners of New York designed the proposed 606-ft.-tall building that would include 500 residential units, retail stores, offices and 525 underground parking spaces. Handel Architects will renovate the property’s original 1912 building.

Millennium expects to start construction by the end of the year, after securing approvals from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The company is also building another residential complex in the district called Millennium Place, which will bring 256 residences to the corner of Washington and Avery streets. Millennium Place is scheduled to be completed in fall 2013.

Chicago Elevator Inspections To Increase

Chicago is planning an elevator inspection “blitz” for elevators outside the city’s Central Business District, according to the Chicago Tribune. Routine annual inspections will be conducted by community area to increase the number of inspections done each day and reduce drive times. The city was looking to hire additional inspectors as of June. Various complaints about a residential tower’s elevators on North Sheridan Road in Chicago suggest reason for increased elevator inspections. City officials reported the building’s units were shut down or being repaired.

New Lifts For Statue Of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty in New York City is currently undergoing a complete interior upgrade (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2012). Liberty Elevator Corp. of Paterson, New Jersey, has been awarded the full vertical-transportation contract for the monument’s interior life and safety upgrades from Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp. of Pine Brook, New Jersey, in coordination with the National Parks Service. The independently owned family business received the contract for the second time in 25 years. Liberty will work with Elevator Doors Inc./Elevator Cabs Inc., also of Paterson, as it did the first time it received the contract, to provide the elevator-cab work.

Liberty is installing three elevators for the Statue of Liberty to add accessibility for visitors of the landmark. The main elevator is being replaced with an energy-efficient machine room-less elevator by Motion Control Engineering (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2012). A new, limited-use/limited-access handicapped lift is being provided by Mobility Elevator and will travel a total of 14 ft., 11 in. with a 750-lb. capacity. The existing emergency elevator is being replaced with a 750-lb. rack-and-pinion elevator; Tower Elevator Systems Inc. designed the unit and will assist in its installation.

Willets Point Development In NYC

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queens Development Group, a joint venture between Sterling Equities, Inc. and Related Cos., have plans to transform Willets Point, an area near the New York Mets’ ballpark, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Under the plan, the companies would develop retail space and other attractions. The US$3-billion project will begin once the city updates its environmental-impact statement and amends its zoning plan for the area.

In the first phase, the plan includes a 93,000-m² retail and entertainment center, a 200-room hotel, another 30,000 sq. ft. of retail and a public recreation zone. Later development would include 2,500 housing units, 900,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 500,000 sq. ft. of offices and 280 hotel rooms.

Draka Names Supplier Of The Year

Georgia Gulf Corp. has been named Supplier of the Year for 2011 by Draka Elevator. Draka cited Georgia Gulf’s willingness to provide experimental compounds for cost savings and engineering support as reason for recognition. Georgia Gulf is a manufacturer of two chemical lines, chlorovinyls and aromatics, and manufactures vinyl-based building and home improvement products. Georgia Gulf is headquartered in Atlanta and has manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

Magnemotion Supplies Two Projects, Adds Sales Partnership

MagneMotion has been awarded two contracts to supply its MM Lite system, a linear-synchronous-motor-based intelligent transportation and position system for light loads. The first contract includes the installation of the system to eyewear manufacturer Gentex Optics’ plant in Dudley, Massachusetts. The project started in April and, as of June, was expected to be fully operational in July. The system will be used between the various processes in the plant. Arup Laboratories, an enterprise of the University of Utah and a national reference laboratory, has also chosen MagneMotion’s MM Lite to replace its existing automation system. The 300-m-long MM Lite conveyor system will utilize 500 MM Lite motors and is expected to be operational by 2014.

MagneMotion has added Acuraks, Inc. as a new sales partner. Headquartered in Tokyo, Acuraks will be responsible for sales and service of MagneMotion’s industrial-automation products, Quickstick and MM Lite. Acuraks is a supplier of various types of products, including dispensers, special inspection systems and automation lines.

Four World Trade Center Structural Framework Completed

A steel beam was hoisted 977 ft. to the top of Four World Trade Center (WTC) on June 25 to signify the completion of its structural framework. According to the New York Times, the building’s architects, Maki and Associates of Tokyo, designed the tower to be understated and deferential. At certain times of the day, the US$1.67-billion structure almost disappears from the downtown skyline because of the thick glass used over the steel framework as a sheer curtain wall.

The construction manager for the 72-story tower, Tishman Construction, and structural engineers, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, were both involved in the building of the original twin towers. When completed next year, 4 WTC will be the sixth-tallest building in New York.

Buildingsny Supported By Nyc Elevator Industry

Once again, the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York (NY) hosted the 2012 BuildingsNY show on May 2-3, where more than 7,000 attendees and exhibitors came together. This year’s show was built and marketed on building automation and energy management. Repositioning the show from March to May, refocusing the education program and adding additional associations and sponsors was generated from the feedback of exhibitors and attendees.

The New York City (NYC) elevator industry once again participated, with more than 10 companies exhibiting at the show. As always, Nouveau Elevator Industries, represented by the Sperenza family, was prominently displayed at the front entrance to the show floor. Two new exhibiting companies on the floor this year were Hudson Elevator Group, a growing but established full-service elevator company in metro NYC, and Robinson Elevator Group, another growing local company.

The BuildingsNY show will be back at the Javits Center in 2013 on April 24-25. Reported by Matt Jackson, EW Contributor

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