Schindler Opens Hanover Facility

Four Seasons, second from left, stands out from the WTC buildings

Schindler announced the grand opening of its new manufacturing facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania, in February. The factory earned what the company calls “North America’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold green-building certification for an elevator manufacturing plant.” Part of the Schindler global supply chain, the 150,000 sq.-ft. facility will provide support for the North American market and focus on producing “customer-facing components,” such as doors, entrances, jambs and elevator-cab interiors. It also includes the company’s “Order Consolidation Center,” an order-fulfillment warehouse.

 The facility achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Schindler calls its new Hanover facility “a model for future Schindler production facilities around the globe.”

GEDA Welcomes New Houston Facility

GEDA USA has opened a new 46,550-sq.-ft. facility in Houston, promising to enhance its ability to design, produce and deliver industrial rack-and-pinion elevators to customers in the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries. The facility, which includes a test tower and storage for large elevators, hoists and platforms, has expanded fabricating and training capabilities. GEDA said the design also “incorporates dedicated space for design collaboration with clients and hands-on training for operators, sales offices and maintenance facilities, complete with parts inventory.”

MEI Opens New Facility to Better Serve the Northeast

MEI Total Elevator Solutions has opened a new facility in Norristown, Pennsylvania, allowing it to better serve customers in the Northeast U.S. The facility is producing dry and submersible units for all customers east of the Mississippi River. MEI states, “Opening a new location. . . allows faster service and lower shipping costs to this part of the U.S. The new facility is time saving, cost effective and efficient.”

Wurtec in Growth Mode

Wurth Takes Helm at ECLW

Rob Wurth has been named president of Elevator Concepts Ltd. by Wurtec (ECLW). Wurth joins the residential manufacturing arm of Wurtec with nine years of experience, most recently as Wurtec Sales manager. In his new role, he is tasked with developing ECLW’s product line and enhancing its dealer network. Stated Wurtec:

“In 2014, we will be aggressively pursuing new dealers and customers with further enhancements to our team, including new National Sales Manager Chris Dodds (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2014), and the release of new products that have been in development by our lead design engineer, Doug Scott, and his supporting team.”

Steve Wurth, Wurtec president, added that Rob Wurth brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to ECLW. “We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading company in residential elevators,” he stated.

Wurtec Expanding Toledo, Ohio, Headquarters

Wurtec, Inc. is expanding its Toledo, Ohio, headquarters by 31,000 sq. ft., which will enhance manufacturing and distribution capabilities and provide office space for additional employees. Groundbreaking was in April, and the project is slated for completion in August. The expansion consists of 25,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and warehouse space, and 6,000 sq. ft. of office space. According to Wurtec:

“This newly constructed area will mainly be used to increase the manufacturing space required for Wurtec’s custom design and build capabilities, warehouse space for additional distribution capabilities, and the addition of the [Elevator Concepts by Wurtec Ltd.] residential elevator, dumbwaiter and the limited use/limited application product line to the manufacturing operations.”

New Hires, Promotions Announced

Shaw Joins Project Management Team at Lerch Bates

Megan Shaw has been named project manager, elevator consulting group, of the Dallas-based South Central Region of Lerch Bates Inc. Most recently, she was instrumental in project design for the new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood, Texas, and The Richards Group headquarters in Dallas. Her new role involves managing modernization services, design and vertical-transportation analysis for new projects throughout the South Central Region, which Lerch Bates CEO Bart Stephan said is one of the company’s fastest growing. Shaw holds an MBA and an MA from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, and a BA in communications from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

VTX Hires Gagle to Manage Baltimore/D.C. Region

Vertical Transportation Excellence (VTX®) has hired George L. Gagle to manage its Baltimore, Maryland/Washington, D.C. region. During his 20-plus years in the industry, Gagle has worked in mechanical engineering, project management, and elevator consulting, modernization, inspection and code compliance. His new responsibilities include overseeing the office’s daily operations and building client relationships. A QEI-certified supervisor, Gagle holds a BS from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Appana Joins MCE as Senior Field Engineer

Motion Control Engineering Inc. (MCE) has hired Eric Appana, QEI, as senior field engineer. Based in MCE’s Glendale, New York, office, Appana is part of the company’s Technical Support team. He has been in the industry since 1996, first working for Richmond Elevator Co. in New York City (NYC) before moving to Nouveau Elevator also in NYC, and Centennial Elevator in Long Island City, New York. He served as Technology and Quality Assurance manager at Computerized Elevator Control Corp. in Moonachie, New Jersey, for the past eight years. Michael Poon, MCE’s director of Technical Services, stated:

“[Appana] is a terrific addition to our team, and his involvement will enhance our efforts to deliver outstanding support services to our customers in the greater NYC area and Northeast region.”

Piper Is New EVP at Matot

Dumbwaiter and commercial lift manufacturer Matot, Inc., based in Bellwood, Illinois, has hired Jim Piper as executive vice president (EVP). In this role, Piper assumes responsibility for growing the company, reorganizing its manufacturing facilities and integrating its Solid Works software into new-product development. Piper holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University. He served as EVP of Schleifring North America before coming to Matot.

CTBUH Announces Staff Changes

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has promoted Steven Henry to associate director and hired Jessica Rinkel as leader coordinator and events manager. Henry’s new role entails overseeing daily operations at CTBUH headquarters in Chicago and spearheading various projects and initiatives. Rinkel is tasked with organizing and managing events, such as the Shanghai Conference in September and the Annual Awards Symposium and Dinner in November.

Changes to Come for Houston Complex

Houston-based AmREIT has designed a US$1.2-billion project for the city’s Uptown Park shopping complex, the Houston Chronicle reported. The project would replace many of the shorter buildings in the 17-acre property with high-rise towers filled with upscale housing, hotel rooms, offices and additional retail space. Parking would be built underground or within the new structures. At least one 30-story tower is being planned, with other high rises expected to be built around the development’s perimeter. The changes are expected to come over the next decade and could begin late this year, when the first building is tentatively scheduled to break ground.

NYC Continues to Bustle with Upward Activity

New Mixed-Use Four Seasons Progresses

Construction on the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, a 67-story, 937-ft.-tall tower at 30 Park Place in New York City (NYC) one block away from the new World Trade Center (WTC), New York Yimby reported. Once completed in 2015, the Robert A.M. Stern-designed Four Seasons will house approximately 180 hotel rooms and 160 residences. It is a project of NYC company Silverstein Properties, developer of the new WTC buildings.

432 Park Avenue Rising Over Central Park

432 Park Avenue, one of several superslim residential towers taking shape in New York City, is now highly visible from Central Park, New York Yimby reported in February. Its height now exceeds 750 ft., making it one of the 20 tallest buildings in NYC. Designed by Vinoly, the 128-unit, 96-story building is taking shape on 57th Street and is expected to be finished by 2015.

Shimmering Baccarat Tower Nearly Complete

The 605-ft.-tall, 50-story Baccarat tower in New York City (NYC) is nearly complete, with its crystal-wrapped base unveiled in early March, New York Yimby reports. The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)-designed building is located at West 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue, across from the Museum of Modern Art. It boasts views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. It will house condominiums, a hotel and a public library. States SOM:

“The Baccarat Hotel and Residences exhibits its elegance and luxury in the tower podium, where guests and residents have access to a variety of distinct amenities: bars, event spaces, lounges and a world-class spa and fitness center.”

Excavation Heralds Mixed-Use Tower at 610 Lexington Avenue

In March, excavation had started at 610 Lexington Avenue in New York City, heralding the arrival of a 711-ft.-tall, approximately 60-story building housing 91 residences and lower-level retail and offices, New York Yimby reports. The project had stalled as a result of the 2008 economic downturn but was reactivated with the approval of construction permits in December 2013. Signage on site indicates the project will be complete in winter 2017.

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