Skyscraper tops out, and companies win contracts and expand.

The two-tower version of the Chicago project; rendering by Rafael Viñoly

TEI Group Contracts around the City

TEI Group has won several contracts to equip new and renovated New York City (NYC) buildings with vertical transportation. It will construct and install nine elevators at the under-construction 54-story residential tower 43-22 Queens Street in Long Island City. Rockrose is developing the site, which is to contain 623,337 sq. ft. under a 580-ft.-tall roof. Additionally, the firm will be modernizing 11 elevators and maintaining 12 at the historic 5 Penn Plaza. The fully renovated 24-story office building is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, directly across from Penn Station.

Smaller contracts for TEI Group are the construction and installation of:

  • Six elevators at the new mixed-use Essex Crossing development complex in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, expected to begin construction in phases soon and be completed by 2024
  • Four elevators at the redevelopment of Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 77
  • One custom hydraulic elevator at 640 5th Avenue near Rockefeller Center in the center of Midtown Manhattan

Hudson Yards’ Coach Tower Tops Out

Coach Tower, also known as 10 Hudson Yards, topped out in October at 52 stories and 895 ft., and is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2016, CoStar Group reported. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, it is the first skyscraper in the 28-acre Hudson Yards development, one of five towers that are planned. A topping-out ceremony held by developers Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group coincided with the announcement that social-media marketing firm VaynerMedia had signed a lease for 88,000 sq. ft. VaynerMedia joins Coach, Inc.; L’Oréal USA; and German software firm SAP, bringing occupancy in the 1.7-million-sq.-ft. building to 85%.

KPF-Designed Supertall Making Headway in Midtown

Plans for One Vanderbilt, a 1,500-ft.-tall, 63-story office building designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) adjacent to Grand Central Station (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2014 and, July 2015), moved forward in October with the demolition of onsite structures, New York YIMBY reported. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the tower is expected to redefine the Midtown East skyline, standing taller than the Chrysler building and having a higher roof than One World Trade Center. Though decisively modern looking, the building has interesting setbacks at its upper levels, hearkening to the heyday of skyscraper design in the city. Developed by SL Green, One Vanderbilt is set to be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Gold certified, have a bank within its retail podium and an underground connection to Grand Central Station.

43-Story Condominium Tower for Tribeca

Sharif El-Gamel’s Soho Properties is the developer, and SOMA is the design architect for a 667-ft.-tall, 43-story condominium tower at 45 Park Place in Tribeca, New York YIMBY reported. The 134,304-sq.-ft. building is set to contain approximately 50 residences, some of which will be full-floor units, and ground-level retail. Demolition of existing buildings was underway in September, and construction is expected to start by the end of 2015 with completion in 2017.

60-Story, Mixed-Use Tower Planned in NoMad

HFZ Capital is planning to build an approximately 60-story, 800-ft.-tall mixed-use tower at 3 West 29th Street in Manhattan’s NoMad (north of Madison Square Park) neighborhood, New York YIMBY reported. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the building will have a limestone base and a façade that brings to mind glass brick. Its curved corners form a counterpoint to the nearby Empire State Building. In September, the developer was seeking approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

New Hires

Team members added in Georgia, New York and Ohio.

VSA Adds Locations, Staff

New York City (NYC)-based Vertical Systems Analysis, Inc. (VSA) is expanding with the addition of two locations and three team members. Celebrating its 30th year in 2016, VSA has added offices in Philadelphia and Miami to existing NYC and Chicago locations.

Its new hires are Tim Lynch, formerly of Van Deusen & Associates (VDA), who will handle clients along the East Coast; Bill Appelbaum, formerly a district manager for ThyssenKrupp, who will be VSA’s liaison with CBRE Group, Inc. (formerly Johnson Controls) in facilitating a multiyear contract with NYC Health and Hospitals Corp. involving more than 20 facilities; and Robert Corcoran, who has experience with Lerch Bates Inc., Otis, Schindler and VDA, who will work with new and existing clients.

VSA’s recent major projects include the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building in Boston and Topshop specialty retail chain, with which it has a national service contract. The firm anticipates additional expansion in 2016, including opening a New Jersey office to help serve the NYC area.

D&D Elevator Beefs Up Salesforce

D&D Elevator Maintenance, Inc. of Elmsford, New York, has added Michael Coyle and Lynn Phillips to its sales team. Coyle has an extensive elevator background, having owned and operated Colonial Elevator in Long Island City, New York. Founded by Coyle’s father, the company serviced approximately 250 units in five New York City boroughs. He is a third-generation elevator-industry professional. Since that enterprise, he served as vice president of operations and was involved in maintenance, surveys, violations, scheduling and working with employees in numerous departments of several companies. He studied Electrical Engineering at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York.

Phillips has significant experience in sales and customer service. She held various positions with Midland/Schindler Elevator Group in the Modernization, Scheduling, Accounting and Collections departments. At D&D, Phillips is assisting property managers, customers and private building owners with their maintenance and modernization needs.

Brugg Announces New VP of Sales, Marketing for

North America

Brugg Lifting has hired Mike Carr as its new vice president (VP) of Sales and Marketing for North America. His duties include overseeing company efforts to increase its distribution network, monitor lead generation and account development, enhance company client service capabilities, and coordinate and monitor North American sales efforts. Carr will be based at Brugg’s headquarters in Rome, Georgia.

Carr served for 17 years as director of Domestic and International Sales with Strongwell Corp, a major company in the fiber-reinforced-polymer structural component industry. Here, he oversaw an increase in overall sales and focused company efforts toward increasing staff effectiveness while promoting customer service. Carr is an alumnus of the University of Sarasota, where he earned a BS in Management. Brugg expects his skills of understanding the entire sales process, from targeting new customers to closing business with OEMs and distributors, to provide immediate benefits.

Lerch Bates Taps Hayes for Columbus Office

Lerch Bates Inc. has tapped Heath Hayes as a consultant for its Columbus, Ohio, office. He will work with general contractors, architects and other elevator consultants to see projects through from start to finish and ensure ongoing customer service. A second-generation elevator-industry professional, Hayes previously was a Modernization Sales representative at ThyssenKrupp, where he was responsible for the company’s growing Modernization division. He earned a BS in Business from Franklin University in Columbus and is a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate of the U.S. Green Building Council.


Improvement projects in Tampa and Seattle

Schindler to Supply TPA

Tampa International Airport (TPA) has awarded installation and renovation of mobility solutions for two major projects to Schindler. Schindler is providing installation of 21 Schindler 5500 mid-rise machine-room-less elevators, one freight unit, 22 Schindler 9300 escalators and eight Schindler 9500 moving walks in the new rental-car garage. Additionally, there will be three new automated people mover stations, and, in the Main Terminal, the company will renovate 24 elevator interiors and replace 22 escalators with new Schindler 9300 units. It has also been awarded the maintenance contract for all units at the airport.

The jobs are part of TPA’s Master Plan project, the first phase of which is to create a dynamic, passenger-friendly environment. Currently, the airport services more than 1.5 million passengers per month. The renovation of the existing Main Terminal, along with the completion of the remainder of the Master Plan, will allow the airport to handle roughly double that number of travelers. Phase 1 is slated for completion in 2017.

Greg Ergenbright, president, Schindler North America, commented:

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with TPA. Our Tampa team has worked with TPA since 1971, when the existing terminal complex was first built. We have been successful in securing the maintenance of all of the equipment at the airport and installing all new equipment in every expansion since.”

Sea-Tac Poised for US$600-Million Expansion

The Port of Seattle recently awarded a contract valued at up to US$400 million to Clark Construction in advance of a planned US$600-million expansion of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), expected to get underway in 2016, Ahlers & Cressman PLLC reported. The upgrade will add seven gates to an existing 11 in the International Arrivals Facility (IAF), which is losing business to competing airports due to long waits in custom lines. The IFC opened in 1973, and Sea-Tac has seen air travel from Asia and Europe grow considerably since then, particularly in the last five years. Clark told ELEVATOR WORLD it is too early to say what will be included in terms of moving walks and vertical transportation, but that should be decided sometime in 2016.

KONE Supplying Elevators for Hospital Expansion in Midwest

KONE is supplying 13 elevators for Cambridge North Tower, the 300,000-sq.-ft. expansion of The University of Kansas Hospital, scheduled to open in 2017. The order consists of nine space-saving EcoSystem MRTM and four machine-room-less MonoSpace® units. Larry Wash, executive vice president of KONE Americas, stated:

“We’re proud to work with The University of Kansas Hospital on its exciting new expansion. Such a prestigious institution in the Midwest, nationally ranked in all 12 medical and surgical specialties, deserves vertical-transportation solutions that are also award-winning.”

Reaching for the Sky

Tall buildings are planned or underway across the nation.

Milwaukee Office Tower Progresses

The 32-story Northwestern Mutual office building (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2013) is quickly rising skyward overlooking Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, Construction Today reported. Expected to be finished by the end of 2017, the US$450-million, 1.1-million-sq.-ft. project encompasses an adjacent low-rise 1912 building that is being preserved and renovated. The project employs approximately 1,000 construction workers, and once the building is completed, permanent employment is expected to more than double, with Northwestern Mutual adding 1,900 new positions to 1,100 jobs that will be preserved.

Miami Developer Eyes Seattle for West Coast’s Tallest

Miami-based Crescent Heights has purchased property at Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street in Seattle on which it plans to build a 101-story, mixed-use tower, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. Should it be built, it would likely be the tallest building on the West Coast. Crescent Heights said it hopes to start construction in 2017. The building is set to include more than 1,000 residences, hotel rooms and retail. At 76 stories, Columbia Tower is Seattle’s current tallest building, and 1,018-ft.-tall U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles is the tallest on the West Coast.

Viñoly-Designed Project Would Be among Chicago’s Tallest

A proposed 76-story, 829-ft.-tall tower that could have a shorter counterpart would be among the tallest buildings in Chicago and the tallest in the South Loop neighborhood, Curbed Chicago reported. Crescent Heights is the developer behind the plan at 113 E. Roosevelt Road that was unveiled before a packed audience in September. The development could bring close to 800 residences, as well as retail, to the south end of Grant Park. Rafael Viñoly is the architect of the somewhat modular-looking design. If built, the project is estimated to take approximately two years to complete.

Alimak Lands US$1.17-Million Order

Alimak Group has booked a US$1.17-million order in the U.S. for construction hoists for various projects. The single- and twin-cage hoists are to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016. Primarily based on a modular design, Alimak’s hoists have flexible size and capacity for use in a variety of applications, such as new-building construction and refurbishment of high-rise buildings, bridges, chimneys and façades. Fredrick Betts, head of Alimak’s Business Area Construction Equipment, observed the order confirms Alimak’s strong position in the country.

Massachusetts Sees Results from More, Better-Paid Inspectors

Massachusetts has seen its elevator-inspection rate improve from 69% in March 2014 to 87% in October 2015, thanks in part to more and better-paid inspectors, the Boston Herald reported. Salaries in 2015 improved by 20% to US$70,200, and the state has added six inspectors and plans to add more to its roster of 61 after approving a US$1.8-million budget increase. Massachusetts has approximately 40,000 elevators. An online permitting system is also credited with helping keep better track of units. The Massachusetts Elevator Safety Association applauded the move.

Schindler’s North Carolina Plant Marks 25 Years

Schindler’s escalator plant in Clinton, North Carolina, celebrated 25 years in business on September 28 with an employee lunch and speeches by company officials. The plant has approximately 150 employees and consists of a 38,000-sq.-ft. escalator step facility and a 155,000-sq.-ft. assembly facility. The largest escalator factory in the U.S. in terms of output, the facility manufactures 9300® AE and 9700® heavy-duty transit escalators and 9500® moving walks for distribution throughout the Americas. It reached full production within a short time of opening in 1990, in 1996 was named one of America’s 10 Best Plants by IndustryWeek magazine and in 1997 added 30,000 sq. ft.

During the event, Chuck Spell, managing director of the plant, opined:

“Over the past 25 years, the Clinton plant has emerged from just a vision to the largest escalator manufacturing facility in North America. The consistently high productivity and performance have made a significant contribution to Schindler’s successful leadership position in the escalator marketplace.”

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Elevator World | December 2015 Cover