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The expansion of Lincoln Square promises to bring even more activity to downtown Bellevue, Washington.

Business Deals

Rack-and-Pinion Companies from U.S., Czech Republic Partner

Century Elevators, Inc., of Houston, a full-service rack-and-pinion elevator manufacturer, has formed a partnership with PEGA Hoist Ltd. of the Czech Republic that gives Century exclusive rights to sell PEGA rack-and-pinion solutions in 32 U.S. states and internationally. Products will be manufactured at both Century’s Houston plant and in Europe. Praising family-owned PEGA’s track record of successfully providing special-purpose personnel elevators globally for more than two decades, Century stated:

“By blending proven manufacturing principles and state-of-the-art engineering, Century Elevators and PEGA are able to design, manufacture and deliver a better, more reliable, heavy-duty rack-and-pinion elevator to the American market. Century Elevators will offer a full range of permanent special-purpose elevators (ASME A17.1) and construction elevators (ANSI A10.4) manufactured by PEGA.”

KONE Strengthens D.C. Presence with Acquisition

KONE has strengthened its position in the Washington, D.C., area with the acquisition of Capital Elevator Services, a service, repair and modernization business headquartered in Waldorf, Maryland. Capital’s customers are located in greater Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. Larry Wash, executive vice president of KONE Americas, called the region a key market for KONE and said the company is excited about welcoming Capital’s employees and customers.

Liberty Acquires Johnson Elevator Inspections

Liberty Elevator Experts of Delaware has acquired Johnson Elevator Inspections of central Pennsylvania, the first of what Liberty President Christopher Dodds describes as several planned acquisitions in the mid Atlantic. He stated:

“We are poised for rapid expansion along the East Coast. Johnson Elevator Inspections was a great firm that performed quality inspection services since 2012. We are honored that they have chosen to consolidate their business into ours, and we are all the better for it.”

San Diego in Midst of Construction Boom

Downtown San Diego is undergoing a construction boom, with more than 60 projects valued at US$6.4 billion under construction, approved or in the early planning stages through 2020, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Since 2009, residential development has been a major driver, with 1,248 units completed in 2015. An additional 8,106 are in the works, including The Rey, a two-phase, 24-story development at Eighth Avenue and B Street and the 41-story Pacific Gate condo building south of the Santa Fe Depot. Urban-focused retailers have their eye on San Diego for expansion. Office development has been comparatively slow, but some developers believe there will be demand for higher-end office space, and they plan to deliver it. 

Busy Industry in NYC

Looking ahead at and catching up on big New York City (NYC) projects

2016 a Watershed Year for Manhattan Supertalls

This year is a pivotal one for the Manhattan skyline, with six 984-ft.-plus supertalls coming out of the ground that will nearly double the city’s number of such buildings, from seven to 13, and change the skyline forever, New York YIMBY reported. The source provided a roundup of the towers that includes descriptions of their designs, locations and timelines. Newcomers include:

  • Nordstrom Tower at 217 West 57th Street, which, at 1,550 ft., promises to become the tallest building in the city. The design is by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, and the structure was several stories above ground in January.
  • 220 Central Park South, located across the street from 217 West 57th, and standing approximately 12 floors above ground in January, on its way to an ultimate 950-ft. height
  • 111 West 57th Street, a 1,428-ft.-tall SHoP-designed building with an Art Deco look that includes restoration of the historic Steinway Building. Work on that portion of the project was underway in January.
  • 53 West 53rd Street, a Jean Nouvel-designed 1,050-ft.-tall structure undergoing foundation work in January
  • 15, 30 and 35 Hudson Yards, which will stand at 915, 1,296 and 1,005 ft. tall, respectively, will join 10 Hudson Yards, which topped out at 895 ft. in 2015.
  • 1 Manhattan West at Ninth Avenue and West 30th Street, part of a project designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and approaching its 995-ft. height in January
  • 175 Greenwich Street, more than halfway to its 1,070-ft. height in January, will join the Financial District as Three World Trade Center.

TEI Orders throughout City

TEI Group has been awarded several contracts in New York. The largest is with TF Cornerstone to install six gearless traction and five hydraulic elevators, and one materials lift at the new TF Cornerstone apartment building being built in Brooklyn. TF Cornerstone is constructing the 25-story complex at the downtown site. It will contain 714 units, 143 of which will be considered “affordable.” The project will total 599,375 sq. ft., including 546,480 sq. ft. of residential space and 30,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the lower level.

TEI’s next contract is with TG Nickel & Associates to install four overhead gearless traction elevators and two hydraulic elevators at the 32-story Bryant Park Hotel and apartment building in Midtown. British architect David Chipperfield is the design architect of the 230-room boutique hotel/57-apartment residential edifice.

In the Meatpacking District, TEI was contracted by Triton Construction to install three overhead gearless traction elevators, one machine-room-less (MRL) elevator, two hydraulic elevators and one material lift at 413-435 West 14th Street, being developed by longtime owner Meilman Family Real Estate, Rockpoint Group and Highgate Holdings.

Bravo Builders has hired TEI to install two gearless traction, one MRL, one hydraulic and two residential elevators at the 20 East End Avenue condominium project in Manhattan. This new boutique condominium building is at the northwest corner of 80th Street and East End Avenue in the Upper East Side neighborhood. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the building will be comprised of 43 two- to six-bedroom homes, including three duplex townhomes and two penthouses. In SoHo, TEI was awarded a contract with Exa USA Corp. to install one custom glass hydraulic elevator and two dumbwaiters for Dolce & Gabbana at 155 Mercer Street. The Italian luxury retailer is opening another store in Manhattan, taking over all four levels of a SoHo building.

Completion of 432 Park Makes 100 Supertalls Worldwide

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat marked the completion of 100 supertall (300 m or taller) buildings worldwide when the luxury condominium 432 Park Avenue was completed in NYC in December 2015. The 425.5-m-tall superslim tower is the tallest all-residential building worldwide and the 14th tallest overall. Although most supertalls are in Asia and the Middle East, NYC continues to be a supertall hotspot with seven supertalls — second only to Dubai. While the world’s first 50 supertalls were built in the 80-year span between 1930 and 2010, they are now multiplying at a remarkable pace, with the number doubling to 100 in only five years.

Second Tallest in Queens Hits Milestone

A 481-ft.-tall, 44-story residential project in Long Island City (LIC), Queens, reached a milestone in late 2015 when it topped out, New York YIMBY reported. It surpassed the 429-ft.-tall Linc LIC, making it the second-tallest building in Queens. Part of a tall-building resurgence in LIC, 23-10 Queens Plaza South, or 23-01 42nd Road, was designed by SLCE Architects and features floor-to-ceiling windows interrupted by dark, vertical bands. It is located at the foot of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and boasts panoramic views of the East River, the bridge and Midtown Manhattan. A connected, historic building is to be converted into offices and parking, while the new building’s ground floor will have a stone cornice and columns to provide unity between old and new.

Six Brooklyn Residential Developments Coming Along

Six residential towers in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park development in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, including the world’s tallest modular building, are progressing nicely, Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. The buildings are situated on a 22-acre site by the Barclays Center and run the gamut from “affordable” rentals to multimillion-dollar, for-sale units. Primarily being developed by Greenland Forest City Partners, they are:

  • 461 Dean Street, at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean, is the world’s tallest modular building, designed by SHoP Architects and housing approximately 360 market-rate and “affordable” rental units within its 32 stories.
  • 664 Pacific Street, a 26-story building designed by Marvel Architects housing approximately 320 market-rate apartments and a public school
  • 615 Dean Street, a 26-story, Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed building with 245 “affordable” apartments
  • 38 Sixth Avenue, also designed by SHoP, with approximately 300 “affordable” rental apartments in a 23-story building
  • 535 Carlton Avenue, a 19-story building designed by COOKFOX Architects housing approximately 300 “affordable” units
  • 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, a 17-story building designed by COOKFOX with approximately 280 condominiums of various sizes with price tags of up to US$6.86 million

LIRR Replacing Escalators at Six Stations

In a continuation of efforts to improve vertical transportation, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is replacing escalators at six stations along the Babylon branch at a cost of US$14 million, LI Herald reported. Some of the equipment dates to the 1950s and is well past its useful life. Outdated 24-in.-wide escalators are being replaced with 32-in.-wide ones, for which replacement parts, such as combplates and rollers, will be easier to find. The new units include obstruction-detection systems and sleep mode for energy savings. Work on the Freeport, Amityville and Lindenhurst stations began in 2015 and is scheduled for completion in spring 2016. Rockville Centre work was set to start in February and wrap up by August. Baldwin work is set to start in May, with the station reopening in the fall, and Copiague work is set to start in April and be finished in September.

Texas

Dallas, Houston get towers and donated elevators from Otis.

Two-Tower Dallas Development Looking at 2017 Completion

Ground was scheduled to be broken earlier this year on an Uptown Dallas project consisting of a 34-story apartment tower and 20-story office tower in which PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will be the anchor tenant, The Dallas Morning News reported. The HKS-designed, US$250-million development is scheduled for completion in late 2017 and entails PwC moving from its current downtown location. It is being developed by Trammell Crow Co. in partnership with Metropolitan Life Insurance and includes approximately 250 apartments, 500,000 sq. ft. of office space and retail overlooking Klyde Warren Park.

Otis Selected for Texas Children’s Hospital Expansion

Otis has been hired by W.S. Bellows Construction Corp. to provide 18 elevators for a 19-story, 640,000-sq.-ft. expansion being built atop the existing six-story Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Continuing a relationship that includes maintaining the hospital’s approximately 100 elevators, the contract consists of six SkyRiseTM, six Gen2®, three gearless service, two gearless patient and one trauma elevator with helipad access. Chris Doot, vice president for the Southern Region of Otis Americas, said that “with W.S. Bellows’ support, Otis is pleased to continue to help improve delivery of healthcare for the millions of children who walk through the doors every year.” Work is underway, and the project is scheduled for completion by 2018.

Otis Elevators at Houston Space Center

Otis donated a pair of energy-efficient Gen2® elevators to the new Independence Plaza visitor center at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. Visitors ride the units eight stories up to the decks of the Space Shuttle Independence replica, recreating the experience of astronauts during their more than 220 space journeys since 1977. Otis parent company United Technologies is a sponsor of
the exhibit. Otis North America President Tom Vining opined:

“Otis is proud to lend our high-performing Gen2 elevator equipment for this educational exhibit. We hope Independence Plaza will inspire generations of students and explorers to shoot for the stars.”

Langer Chosen as 2016 EESF Campaign Chairman

The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) has announced Michael Langer, regional safety director for the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC), as its campaign chairman for the 2016 fundraising year. Based in Middleboro, Massachusetts, Langer will lead the fundraising team in seeking tax-deductible donations to further the EESF’s mission to educate the public on the safe and proper use of elevators, escalators and moving walks through information programs. IUEC is a labor organization representing approximately 25,000 union members in North America and Puerto Rico. Langer works with employer and union representatives to change the safety mindset of those working in the vertical-transportation industry. He has installed, repaired and maintained equipment for KONE, thyssenkrupp and Schindler, among others, and has been a safety director for IUEC since 2006.

Lerch Bates

Consultancy/design firm gets major contract, hires and promotes.

Company Wins “Milestone” Washington State Project

Lerch Bates Inc. has been hired by Kemper Development Co. and Affiliates to design the vertical-transportation system for the 1.5-million sq. ft. expansion of Lincoln Square in Bellevue, Washington, which includes 47 elevators and six escalators. Among the largest projects in the region, the expansion consists of 400 Lincoln Square, a 31-story office building overlooking Lake Washington and downtown Seattle, and Two Lincoln Tower, a 40-story W hotel joined with a midrise apartment building. 400 Lincoln Square and Two Lincoln Tower will sit atop a multilevel podium housing retail and entertainment. Lerch Bates Area Vice President Jeff Marsh said the project promises to bring even more activity to an already-bustling downtown. He observed:

“Retail has been the catalyst for growth in downtown Bellevue for nearly 70 years, and this extensive project is the next milestone in the city’s evolution to a regional business hub.”

Blackwood Hired for Dallas Area Office

Lerch Bates has hired Don Blackwood as a consultant based out of its South Central Dallas office. He has more than four decades of industry experience, previously holding leadership roles with Otis in the Service and Construction departments in Dallas. In his new role, Blackwood is providing elevator consulting services for new equipment design, modernization, maintenance and audit work. He performs due diligence and maintenance evaluations, completes studies and oversees construction services. He has been a CEI since 1993 and an instructor for NAESA International and the National Elevator Industry Education Program since 2008. Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan said Blackwood’s vast knowledge and expertise will be an asset to the company.

Dietz Promoted to Regional Manager

Lerch Bates has promoted Ken Dietz from project to regional manager in the Los Angeles/Las Vegas markets. Dietz was hired at the new local office in 2013 (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2013), and prior to that had handled several significant projects in the area. He has nearly 16 years of experience, including a stint with Otis. He holds a BA from Norwich University in Vermont and a JD from Western New England University. Upon promoting Dietz, Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan stated:

“[Dietz] has quickly established himself as one of the leading vertical-transportation consultants in the American West. He possesses exceptional integrity, as well as the comprehensive industry experience and knowledge needed to be a leader with our firm.”

Huebner Named Regional Manager

Lerch Bates has named Doug Huebner regional manager for Arizona and New Mexico. His duties include vertical-transportation analysis and design, contract preparation, maintenance evaluation and due-diligence execution. Huebner previously was a strategic account executive and general manager at Otis and a branch manager at KONE. Notable projects in which he was involved include Chase Tower Chicago, Intel’s national facilities and Renaissance Square in Phoenix. He holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a member of the Buildings Owners and Managers Association. Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan observed Huebner’s regional experience promises to help the company continue its strategic growth in markets such as Phoenix.

Florida Companies Give Gift of Mobility

Harmar and 101 Mobility, both of Sarasota, Florida, teamed up to donate to the family of Grayson Tullio, a 12-year-old local boy living with a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy, a lift that helps him get in and out of his pool. Harmar was the preferred lift brand of the family. Harmar provided the lift, and dealer 101 Mobility provided the installation. Both companies said it was a very rewarding experience.

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