Manhattan continues to reach for the sky, and code, legal and subway news is provided.
Interesting Office Redevelopment Project Rises in Midtown
425 Park Avenue (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2015), “one of the most interesting redevelopment projects” in Manhattan, has surpassed the 16th of what will ultimately be 47 floors, New York YIMBY reported. Foster + Partners is responsible for the design, featuring setbacks and a triple-height amenity area for office tenants. L&L Holding, GreenOak Real Estate Advisors and Tokyu Land Corp. are the developers, which are preserving 25% of the original office structure, designed in the 1950s by Kahn & Jacobs. 425 Park Avenue will rise 893 ft. to its architectural top and span 620,000 sq. ft., 200,000 of which has been leased by Citadel. Completion is anticipated in early 2019.
500-Ft.-Tall Tower With Affordable Units in Hell’s Kitchen
Pending rezoning, the New York City (NYC) Economic Development Corp. is planning a 500-ft.-tall tower at 495 Eleventh Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, according to New York YIMBY, which cited a Wall Street Journal report. The city selected Radson Development and Kingspoint Heights Development as developers. The project is set to include approximately 230 apartments, 200,000 sq. ft. of office space, 80,000 sq. ft. of student housing, a supermarket and parking for the NYC Police Department. The site is between West 39th and 40th streets, and groundbreaking is anticipated in fall 2019 with completion in 2022.
Subway Given Harsh Critique From Audit
According to the audit by City Controller Scott Stringer, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is failing to maintain the NYC subway system’s escalators and elevators. The New York Daily News quoted Stringer saying, “We have a complete maintenance mess.” The audit indicated the agency did not perform all scheduled maintenance on 78% of the escalators and elevators investigators checked, cited as a reason for the units often being broken down. In total, one-third of the scheduled preventive-maintenance tasks were completed late or not at all, and nearly one-third (21 of the 65 looked at) failed one or more of the MTA’s inspections and had to be taken out of service. Fifteen of the 21 that failed had been serviced two weeks before the inspection.
Additionally, auditors checked on 849 preventive-maintenance tasks scheduled over 18 months and found that 164 were performed late, and another 21 were not done at all. Though 104 maintenance jobs were canceled, MTA workers were paid nearly US$1 billion in overtime in 2016. The MTA said the audit’s findings are misleading and that its elevators are operating 96% of the time. It added that NYC Transit is spending more than US$1 billion to increase the number of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant subway stations and replace existing elevators and escalators.
Fetner Tapped to Develop 47-Story Mixed-Income Building
The New York City Housing Authority has chosen Fetner Properties to develop a 47-story tower with 330 residential units adjacent to the only public-housing project on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Holmes Towers, The Real Deal reported. The location is on East 92nd Street between First and York avenues. The structure will span 350,000 sq. ft., including 18,000 sq. ft. of recreational/community space. The plan also includes a new, 14,500-sq.-ft. playground. Half the units will be designated for lower-income residents.
New FSSG Meets Code Requirement
A new release of Rolls Elevator Safety’s Fail Safe Safety Guard (FSSG), FSSG SDC v5, supports the NYC requirement to separate the car gate switch from door-lock circuits, where the arrangement of single daisy chains exist (NYC Building Code 3.10.12, Appendix K3). The new version also incorporates all previous FSSG features: adaptability to all controller types and automatic safety gear/rope-gripping activation for any unintended car movement (UCM).
The FSSG is a code-compliant door-lock-monitoring device meant to increase the safety level of elevator passengers and technicians by preventing UCM with open doors. It is certified Safety Integrity Level 2 (EW, May 2015) and is listed under the UL 508 standard for industrial control equipment as “elevator controls and accessories,” ASME A17.5/CSA B44.1 and Canadian standard for industrial control equipment C22.2 No 14-13 (EW, December 2014).
Bill Would Raise Construction Worker Requirements
NYC lawmakers have been promising more stringent safety measures since 33 construction workers in the city were killed on the job in the last two years, NBC 4 New York reported. A bill that requires a better database of who gets hurt or killed in a fall was passed by the city council in late April, but a more controversial one requiring safety training and an apprenticeship course for construction workers has not. That law would require a work visa and a general education degree. Some construction advocates claim that keeps poorer job applicants out of work, and the Real Estate Board of New York says the bill unfairly targets big developers, instead of smaller sites, where most accidents happen. One of its ramifications would increase safety violation fines to US$1 million.