NYC Surging


New York YIMBY: Condos, hotels on drawing board.

“San Francisco’s Worth” of New Skyscrapers for NYC

Developers intend to add a “San Francisco’s worth” of new skyscrapers to New York City (NYC) in the coming years, according to New York YIMBY, which said that, in 2014, applications were filed for 17 buildings taller than 500 ft. San Francisco has 18 such buildings. Overall, 2014 was a strong year for filings, with demand outpacing supply and prices remaining high. Across the five boroughs, applications were filed to build 44,825 residential units, compared with 22,915 units in 2013. Brooklyn and Queens led the way, with Manhattan also having a strong showing. Interestingly, NYC’s supertall building boom is not reflected in the numbers, since most of those applications were filed several years ago. Full data may be downloaded at www.yimbyresearch.com.

New Marriott near Hudson Yards

A two-tiered glassy structure with corner ornamentation is the design plan for a 312-ft.-tall, 29-story tower at 461 West 34th Street, New York YIMBY reports. With DSM Design Group as the architect, it is set to house a Marriott Courtyard hotel with ground-floor retail. Despite its height, it will be dwarfed by Hudson Yards buildings taking shape across the street. The location is prime, directly across from the city’s first Neiman Marcus department store and convenient to a key subway station. In December 2014, excavation appeared imminent, and a 2016 completion date is projected.

Plans Percolate for Another Midtown Condo Tower

After changing hands in 2014, a piece of property in the Midtown South area of NYC looks primed for another condominium tower, New York YIMBY reports. Although design details were hazy in late 2014, the tower would have 51 stories and ground-level retail. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, it would feature cantilevers above the lower floors to expand square footage. No timeline is announced for the project, which is planned at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 30th Street. At least two additional residential towers are taking shape nearby.

Mobility Elevator Gets New Website

Elevator and lift provider Mobility Elevator and Lift Co. of West Caldwell, New Jersey, launched a new website (www.mobilityelevator.com) in January. New features include comprehensive technical information, and new installation pictures and brochures.

Projects across the U.S.

US$400-Million Condo Tower Planned in San Diego

Developer Nat Bosa is planning a US$400-million condominium tower in downtown San Diego on the waterfront, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Scheduled for completion in 2017 and part of a larger downtown rebirth, the building will stand 450 ft. tall and have 232 condos within 41 stories. Prices will start at more than US$1 million for even the smallest units, and demand is expected to be strong due to a dearth of for-sale condos downtown. The structure was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, which drew inspiration from waves and seashells to form a glassy tower with “two embracing curves.”

393-Unit Apartment Tower for Uptown Charlotte

On the heels of the August 2014 opening of the 22-story Element Uptown residential tower in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, Childress Klein Properties has announced another project nearby consisting of 31 floors housing 393 apartments atop the 11-story Mint Museum, Charlotte Business Journal reports. Construction is expected to start in spring 2015, and the project – which in December 2014 had not yet been named – is set to include underground parking and a top-floor, resort-style pool. It will join a growing number of apartment towers in the city.

Miami Mixed-Use Tower Announced

A 935-foot-tall tower has been proposed for downtown Miami. “The World Trade Center of the Americas” would include residential units, hotel rooms and office space. The 340 Biscayne Boulevard site, upon which currently sits a Holiday Inn, was purchased by ITC Center Miami LLC and BH Downtown Miami LLC. Local firm Arquitectonica designed the 77-story building. According to the Miami NewTimes, the building would dwarf anything currently in Miami’s skyline. However, other proposed nearby projects are expected to be taller.

BART Escalator Upgrades in Store

San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is set to get a trio of rebuilt street-level escalators at a pair of stations where service is notoriously spotty, The San Francisco Examiner reports. BART has set aside US$12 million for improvements, including art, lighting, stair treads, signage, news displays and safety features for two units at Power Street and one at Civic Center. BART is still gathering input from customers but expects new canopies over the units (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2013) will help protect them from the elements and people using them as toilets. Work is expected to start in 2016 and be complete in 2017.

NFPA Launches Electrical Certification Program

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has launched its Certified Electrical Safety Worker (CESW) certification program, based on the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®. The program’s objective is to ensure electricians have the knowledge, training and experience to perform their jobs at the highest, safest level possible.

 The CESW certification program was developed in coordination with experts in the electrical safety field, including construction, industrial, residential electricians and contractors; electrical engineers; electrical safety training organizations; and facilities managers and supervisors. It features a 100-item examination, along with a set of recertification requirements that must be completed within a three-year time period following initial certification. During the examination, candidates are assessed on the main subject areas of understanding electrical safety-related work practices, establishing electrically safe work conditions, identifying precautionary techniques for work involving electrical hazards and performing electrical hazard risk assessments.

KONE to Outfit Seattle Tower with 19 Units

KONE has been hired to provide 19 elevators to Fifth + Columbia, a 44-story office/hotel tower being built in downtown Seattle (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2015). The order consists of six MonoSpaceTM, machine-room-less units, 13 MiniSpaceTM 6-mps units and the PolarisTM destination-control system. General contractor JTM Construction awarded the contract. Boasting a geometric design and glass façade, the building was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects of Seattle and is being developed by Daniels Real Estate.

ASME A17 Code Week Held in Florida

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) held a successful A17 Standards Committee and associated code committee meetings during Code Week on January 12-15 at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater, Florida. In addition to the usual items covered, themes of the meeting included defining the forms of auxiliary and emergency power and alternative testing.

The A17 Standards Committee met for the better part of the day on January 14. One highlight of the meeting was a celebration of James Coaker having recently received the Melvin R. “Mel” Green Award for the lifetime achievement of service to the committee. Coaker was very appreciative of receiving ASME’s most prestigious award and praised the organization for its openness and the fact that “anyone can pick up the phone and get a professional response from any ASME chair or other leader.” Among the news shared at the meetings was the plan for the publishing of a new edition of the A17.4 Guide for Emergency Personnel in February. The guide is used as a baseline for training firefighters in many parts of North America. Additionally, A17.7/B44.7 New Technology Committee Chair Louis Bialy announced there are initiatives within the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to harmonize elevator documentation worldwide. He also said a task group had been formed to review ways to harmonize his committee’s work with the European Committee for Standardization. Though there is currently no such harmonization, ISO Annex C addresses additional considerations that must be met for the European Parliament and Council Lifts Directive. Bialy believes a similar appendix could be made for A17.7/B44.7. Work to that effect will be discussed at upcoming elevator-code meetings, which were still being planned at the time of this writing. Visit calendar.asme.org for the latest updates.  

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Elevator World | March 2015 Cover