NYC and Environs Continue Hot Streak

151 Maiden Lane, the tallest building in this rendering

Significant residential towers are on the drawing boards in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Tall-Building “Permit Frenzy” in September

Demand coupled with imminent building-code changes are the drivers behind what New York YIMBY is calling a September “permit frenzy,” in New York City (NYC) and beyond, which saw 23 permits filed for buildings ranging in height from 300 to 700 ft. In all, there were 33 permits filed. On the drawing boards are Brookfield’s Manhattan West, an office tower that, at 702 ft., is among the tallest on the list; and numerous towers containing spacious residences, such as the 35-story 131 West 23rd Street and the 37-story 118 East 59th Street. At 950 ft. tall, 101 Murray would become the tallest residential building downtown, and 15 East 30th Street, at 825 ft., the tallest building between the Empire State Building and Lower Manhattan. Permits have also been filed for a 69-story, 995-ft.-tall office tower in Hudson Yards; and, in Brooklyn, the 65-story, 67-ft.-tall, mixed-use 420 Albee Square; the 32-story, 346-ft.-tall apartment tower 86 Fleet Place; and several additional residential projects. 

Glass-Paneled Elevators Part of Buildings’ Renovation

Glass-paneled elevators through which tenant-commissioned artwork can be viewed are among upscale upgrades to a trio of buildings in Midtown in NYC, the Commercial Observer reports. The Kaufman Organization acquired four buildings earlier this year (one is already open) and is undertaking renovations at 19 West 24th Street, 13 West 27th Street and 45 West 27th Street ahead of a targeted June 2015 opening date. With improvements such as the innovative elevators, Kaufman hopes to attract high-end tenants in the technology, media and creative fields.

Brooklyn Tower Reaching to the Sky

Avalon Willoughby West at 100 Willoughby Street in Brooklyn, New York, is taking shape quickly, tripling in height to 15 stories in approximately one month, New York YIMBY reported in October. The SLCE-designed building is eventually planned to reach 57 stories, or 595 ft., and will briefly be the tallest tower in quickly growing downtown Brooklyn. There are 674- and 800-ft.-tall towers planned nearby.

Office Tower Moguls Turn to Residential

Powerhouse real-estate families in NYC are turning from building office towers to residential ones, with demand for apartments high and a significant number of buyers willing to pay top dollar, The New York Times reports. The Durst family, which helped transform Times Square with two skyscrapers on 42nd Street, is planning a seven-building development known as Hallets Point, across from Manhattan in Astoria, Queens, that would include more than 2,000 apartments, including affordable housing. Three of the buildings would be market rate, ranging 17-31 stories. In Manhattan, the Fisher family is planning to build a 950-ft.-tall condominium tower in Tribeca, along with a 37-story apartment tower on the East Side.

Plans for Supertall One Vanderbilt Tweaked

Details of the base of One Vanderbilt, a 1,450-foot-tall, 67-story building planned on 42nd Street in Midtown NYC, have been tweaked, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the mixed-use tower would stand 600 ft. taller than the MetLife Building, with its closest neighboring supertall the iconic Chrysler Building. Its design features a glassy façade, a spire and parapets that echo post-World War II style. A construction time frame has not yet been announced by developer SL Green Realty Corp. 

Renderings Show Thin, Glassy Tower for NYC

New renderings of 151 Maiden Lane, a 52-story, 520-ft.-tall residential tower planned in NYC near South Street Seaport (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2014), reveal a slender shape, glassy façade and wraparound balconies, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by Goldstein, Hill & West, the building is planned to have an adjacent 33-story hotel designed by another architect. Thus far, hotel renderings have not been released. Construction is expected to start soon, judging from recent permit activity.

Schumacher, Lerch Bates Win Jobs

Modernization, new units to be provided by established firms. 

County Courthouses Getting Upgrade

The Anoka County, Minnesota, Board of Supervisors has awarded Schumacher Elevator a pair of contracts totaling approximately US$1.5 million for modernization of eight elevators in county courthouse buildings, ABC Newspapers reports. Representing phases five and six of an eight-phase project begun three years ago to bring all 29 elevators within the system up to state code, the work comprises a US$417,940 contract to modernize three elevators and a US$1.1 million-contract to modernize five, respectively. Based in Denver, Iowa, Schumacher Elevator will handle the work out of its Eagan, Minnesota, location.

Vertical Transportation for New Denver Tower

Lerch Bates Inc. has been hired to design the vertical-transportation systems for 1401 Lawrence, a new 22-story office building in a historic part of Denver. One of more than 24 new projects underway in Denver, 1401 Lawrence will have nine elevator systems. Lerch Bates will provide schematic designs, design development, construction-document management and construction administration for client The Beck Group. The building is being developed by Great Gulf of Toronto and is designed to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified with 10-ft. floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Rocky Mountains.


The DOE allows certain private-sector green-building certification, and a product meets code requirements.

DOE Allows Alternate Green Building Certification

In October, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a rule dictating which private-sector green building certifications, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®), can be used by federal agencies to meet existing government standards for efficiency. According to The Hill, the DOE describes the allowed certifications as “a system that verifies enhanced energy and water efficiency.” While they do not replace the government’s green building standards, they offer an alternative for it the DOE intends to “lead to reduced consumption through active energy and water management.” Both LEED Silver and its competitor, the Green Globes program, are among the systems now allowed for certain circumstances.

KEB America Receives STO Certification

KEB America announced that its F5 elevator drive with SIL3 Safe Torque Off (STO) has been independently reviewed and verified by an elevator safety organization to meet the most recent ASME A17.1 and EN 81 code requirements. Using a KEB F5 drive with STO allows users to replace the traditionally used motor contactor(s).

Peelle Hires Three

The Peelle Co. reported in October that it had expanded its team by filling some key roles. Brian Ivancic, Quality Control engineer, was hired by Peelle’s R&D team to improve parts and processes though problem identification, assigning problem-solving teams and implementing solutions. Ivancic has been visiting jobsites, as well as spending time in Peelle’s factory and office. He is an electronic technician in his 14th year in the quality field, having most recently worked for Martin Rea, an automotive supplier to General Motors.

Werner Kairis has also been hired for the R&D team and serves as a mechanical designer assigned to standardizing parts, reducing parts, stock-keeping units, improving performance and field standardization. Kairis’ experience spans 30 years as a mechanical designer, most recently working on rebreathing devices for underwater mine countermeasures used by the military and designing steel fabricated buildings. His son, Dave, also works for Peelle’s R&D department as a graphic designer and standards maintainer. 

Cristian Cuello, in Project Coordination, is part of the production team that works closely with Peelle’s Project Management group and the customer to secure desired ship dates. Cuello closely manages factory-flow material production scheduling to ensure the factory operates at its optimal pace, while satisfying customer demands. He has 10 years of material management experience, most recently from Novartis Co. in its Vision Sterile Manufacturing division. He plans to pursue Product Management at Sheridan College and holds several professional certifications in Materials and Operations Management.

North American News

Product wins UL approval, and a partnership is announced at NAEC.

FSSG Gains U.S., Canadian Approvals

Rolls Elevator, OEM of the Fail-Safe Safety Guard (FSSG) elevator safety device (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2012), has announced that the FSSG-v3 is the company’s first product to be Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 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. The approvals refer to all kind of elevators and escalators, as well as other moving equipment that employs safety circuits subject to bypass.

The FSSG is also compliant with New York City’s NYCBC-2014, per the recently published LL 141, Section 3.10.12. Upon gaining this compliance, Rolls Elevator donated 10 units to local elevator companies in the city. CEO Yoram Madar expounded:

“Due to the FSSG’s success in preventing elevator accidents, we at Rolls Elevator believe that it is our duty, and, indeed, it is our intention to continue to develop the FSSG next generation, as well as other unique solutions in the field of elevator safety in order to reduce the possibility of elevator accidents. We see it as our contribution to public safety.”

Lift Solutions to Distribute Oleo Products

Oleo International announced its partnership with Lift Solutions Inc. during the National Association of Elevator Contractors Exposition in San Antonio in September. The deal is intended to have its products more widely distributed throughout North America. Lift Solutions will provide Oleo’s sales and technical support in the U.S. and Canada. Features of Oleo’s products include minimized overall buffer height and stroke, small and lightweight construction, global quality certification, and suitability for speed ranges of 1-20 mps.

Oleo, an elevator buffer designer and manufacturer headquartered in the U.K., already supplies products to North America from its Atlanta distribution facility, but by teaming up with Lift Solutions, the company feels poised to grow its customer base in North America as a whole. Jamie Pratt, managing director of Oleo’s elevator division, explained:

“North America is a very established elevator market and is currently thriving during a period of economic growth, which has seen a significant increase in new building construction and major modernization projects, which will lead to many new elevator installations over the next few years. We are already dominant with some of the larger OEMs in the region, and by teaming up with a respected name like Lift Solutions, we hope to be able to grow the business with the multitude of independent elevator manufacturers and equipment packagers in the U.S. and Canada.”

John Castaño, CEO of Lift Solutions, added, “Both companies have great momentum, our market is thriving, and the partnership fits cohesively for us to better serve those companies engaged in elevator construction, modernization, service and repair.”

The partnership comes at a time when Oleo prepares to launch its new ecommerce facility, which will allow customers to order Oleo-manufactured buffer equipment online. When ordered, the products will be made available from Oleo’s Atlanta distribution facility within a week.

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Elevator World | December 2014 Cover