ThyssenKrupp North America has new leadership; companies tap regional managers.

Miami Worldwide rendering

Bass Now CEO

Patrick Bass, formerly head of R&D for ThyssenKrupp Elevator in Essen, Germany, is now CEO of ThyssenKrupp North America, Inc., headquartered in Chicago. Bass fills a position formerly held by Torsten Gessner. ThyssenKrupp’s largest and most important foreign market, ThyssenKrupp North America had turnover of US$10.3 billion in fiscal 2012-2013 and has approximately 20,000 employees. Its elevator technology division, in particular, has grown steadily over the past several years. Bass has been with ThyssenKrupp since 1999, starting as a mechanical engineer for the elevator division in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

Baratta to Lead Syska Hennessy’s Southwestern/Pacific Region

Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. has hired Michelle Baratta as associate partner in the firm’s Los Angeles (L.A.) office. In this role, Baratta will lead the practice in providing vertical-transportation consulting, design, reliability assessment and management for clients throughout the Southwestern/Pacific region, which encompasses L.A., Las Vegas and Phoenix, as well as Hawaii and Orange County, California. Baratta has 36 years of industry experience, and has consulted on numerous noteworthy projects throughout the U.S. and world. A NAESA International certified QEI, Baratta is recognized for her ability to ensure that each design meets a project’s requirements. Syska Hennessy Senior Vice President John Moran III stated:

“Baratta’s extensive experience and knowhow will be critical for the expansion of our service offerings in the region. She will be the point person in managing our client relationships and lead the effort to expand our vertical-transportation pipeline.”

Sheya Joins Unitec as Western Region Account Manager

Ed Sheya has joined Unitec Parts Co. as Western Region account manager, based in Sacramento, California. His responsibilities include managing existing accounts and developing new business. Sheya comes to Unitec with 24 years of industry experience, most recently having worked for Otis in various management roles. He started his elevator career with Dover Elevator in 1987. He holds a BS in Information Systems from San Diego State University. 

KEB America Promotes Heiser

The Elevator Drives division of KEB America has promoted Tony Heiser to business development manager. In this role, he will lead the division’s commercial and technical activities. Heiser has been with the company for nine years, primarily as an elevator engineer. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Alps Hires and Promotions

Alps Wire Rope Corp. of St. Charles, Illinois, has hired three employees and promoted one. Jim Miner, who has been with the company for six years and has 12 years of experience with Wells Electronics, was promoted to regional manager over the North Central and Midwest areas. Greg Smith, a U.S. Army veteran with 17 years of industry experience, was hired as sales manager for the North Central area. Dan Warren, who has more than 10 years of purchasing experience, was hired as buyer at corporate headquarters. Gregg Lakin, who has more than 10 years of warehouse manager experience, was hired as warehouse manager based in St. Charles.

Kings III Hires Fornabaio for NY, NJ Markets

Kings III Emergency Communications, headquartered in Coppell, Texas, has hired Anthony Fornabaio as business development manager for the New York (NY) and New Jersey (NJ) markets. Fornabaio brings with him 16 years of sales experience that includes working with developers, real-estate professionals and property-management firms.

Taking Shape

Tall buildings, mixed-use projects are planned and underway throughout the country.

Timeline for Miami Mega Mixed-Use Project

Developers of Miami Worldcenter, a mixed-use project covering 27 acres and 10 blocks in downtown Miami, have released a construction timeline for the project’s first phase, Commercial Property Executive reports. The move comes after the City of Miami approved the plan. A 466-unit condominium building is set to be the first residential component to break ground in the second quarter of 2015. The first phase is also set to include a mall anchored by Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, as well as a 1,000-room Marriott hotel and exposition center. Phase I represents an investment of approximately US$2 billion. Site work is projected to get underway in the first quarter, with vertical progress taking place by midyear.

Construction Resumes on Seattle Tower

After being stalled for several years due to the financial crisis of 2008, construction has resumed on Fifth & Columbia, a 44-story tower in downtown Seattle, MYNorthwest.com reports. Developed by Daniels Real Estate, the building promises to be among the tallest and most iconic in the city. It will house a hotel on the lower floors and offices on the upper floors. The project includes preservation of several nearby, turn-of-the-20th-century historic structures, such as a church. Boasting a glassy façade and tall ceilings, the tower is scheduled to open in 2017.

39-Story Condo Tower Gets Going in Austin

Austin, Texas, is getting a 39-story condo tower, Fifth & West, Austin Business Journal reports. Demolition of an existing structure occurred in December 2014, and the building is expected to be complete by fall 2017. Designed by GDA Architects, Fifth & West will be among the tallest buildings in downtown Austin. It will house 154 for-sale residences, with prices starting at US$500,000. Demand is expected to be high, since most residences in the area are rentals.

Glimmering Towers Hold Promise for New Brunswick

A trio of glimmering towers – a pair of 300-ft.-tall mixed-use buildings and a shorter, residential one – promise to help transform New Brunswick, New Jersey, into a more pedestrian-friendly place, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and called The Hub, the project is being developed by New Brunswick Development Corp. and is the third phase in a transit-oriented plan that already comprises more than 1.3 million sq. ft. The Hub would be 1.7 million sq. ft. in area, and include a retail podium and interwoven, walkable roadways. The site is 36 mi. from Manhattan, but boasts convenient rail connections.

Pair of Oklahoma City Towers on Drawing Board

Commercial and residential towers that are 25 and 26 stories, respectively, are planned for an approximately three-acre site in downtown Oklahoma City, The Journal Record reports. Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, the local governmental redevelopment arm, selected a plan by Clayco Inc. that includes a parking structure linking the two buildings. In December, the entities were hammering out details of a tax-incentives package.  

Design Reveal for Upper West Side Residential Tower

New York YIMBY has a design reveal for 1 West End Avenue, also known as 5 Riverside Center, a 49-story, 491-ft.-tall residential tower that is part of the Riverside Center development (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2014) on the Upper West Side in New York City. Developed by Silverstein Properties and The Elad Group, the building features an eight-story, stone-clad base connected to a glassy 41-story section with an angled rooftop. The lower eight stories are to house affordable units, while the upper floors will be market rate. The project is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2017.

Plans for Jersey City Skyscraper Revamped

A 950-ft.-tall tower is the new, taller plan for a site formerly earmarked for a pair of 60-story towers at 99 Hudson Street (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2014) in Jersey City, New Jersey, New York YIMBY reports. There are still approximately 1,000 residential units planned. If it is built, the tower at 99 Hudson Street would be the tallest in New Jersey. Perkins Eastman is designing the structure, but, as of December 2014, no renderings had been released.

Lerch Bates News

Historic hotel project, personnel changes announced by company.

McGrath-Bento Promoted

Lerch Bates Inc. has promoted Alyssa McGrath-Bento from New England regional manager to director of strategic accounts. She will remain based in Boston. In her new regional role, she leads and manages consultants and administrative staff, manages key accounts and builds new client relationships. Nationally, she oversees growth of the firm’s Management Maintenance Services department. She reports to Vice President of Strategic Accounts Tim Isbell. Lerch Bates CEO Bart Stephan notes McGrath-Bento has been instrumental in the company’s strategic growth and is a trusted liaison between the company and clients. McGrath-Bento earned her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.

Elevators in Landmark L.A. Hotel to be Modernized

Lerch Bates Inc. has been hired to modernize nine units in the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles (L.A). New AC gearless machines, modern controllers and advanced regenerative drives will be installed, as well as new cabs and hall fixtures that match existing aesthetics. Built in 1923, the hotel is a blend of Italian Renaissance, Mediterranean and Beaux Arts styles. It has hosted numerous significant events, such as nine Academy Awards ceremonies and U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s nomination acceptance speech. The elevator upgrade is scheduled to be complete in mid 2015.

Lerch Bates Hires Industry Veteran Felix

Lerch Bates Inc. has named Jose Felix project manager, elevator consulting group. Based at its Lake Forest, California, office, Felix participates in conceptual planning, design, construction administration, audits, surveys, inspections and modernization projects for vertical-transportation systems, including overseeing project organization, scheduling, coordination, deliverables, billing and collections. He also develops the firm’s market share in southern California through marketing initiatives, including exhibitions at regional conferences, and building relationships with prospective clients.

Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan commented:

“[Felix] joins our growing team of dedicated and talented project managers with the experience needed to support our growth in the booming Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Lerch Bates continues to expand its operations in the U.S. and throughout the world, and [Felix] is a welcomed addition to our Lake Forest office. We look forward to the invaluable contributions he will make to our firm as we increase our presence in southern California.”

Felix most recently served as a sales and operations account manager for KONE in San Francisco, where he developed the firm’s service, modernization and installation efforts with designated accounts. He also contributed to the profitable growth and increased market share of the company with the development and retention of existing accounts. Felix also worked as an account manager/service sales representative for Otis. He holds a BS in Business Administration, Marketing, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Wurth Chosen as 2015 EESF Campaign Chairman

The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) has announced Steve Wurth of Wurtec Inc. as its campaign chairman for the 2015 fundraising year. Wurth 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 informational programs.

Wurth commented:

“The EESF was established with the goal of eliminating preventable accidents. I believe in the educational mission of the EESF, and I am confident that the success of the EESF in accomplishing the goal will result in cascading benefits throughout the industry. I have supported the EESF for many years and am honored to be selected as [its] 2015 campaign chairman.”

Wurth is the president and owner of Wurtec, founded in 1985. The company designs, develops, markets and distributes products to the global passenger-elevator industry. Wurth also cofounded Top Floor Elevator Store, a Canadian company that distributes products to the passenger-elevator industry. Since 2012, he has owned Elevator Concepts Ltd. by Wurtec, and he cofounded and serves as vice president of Standard Wireway and Supply, a sheetmetal stamping company serving the passenger-elevator industry. Finally, Wurth serves as president of P & A Metal Services, a steel-supply company specializing in the supply of burnouts to area businesses.  

Wurth has worked for Schindler as an industrial engineer, production supervisor and field engineer. He also worked for American-Lincoln as an industrial engineer after graduating from Bowling Green State University with a BS in Manufacturing Technology. His education and experience have resulted in the development of propriety products and nine patents. Wurth has served on the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) board, is a corresponding member of the ASME A17 Mechanical Design Committee and serves on NAEC’s Safety Committee and its Specification Database Committee. 

Charlotte Welcomes First Office Tower since Recession

Charlotte, North Carolina, is welcoming the first office tower to be built in the city since the recession, the Charlotte Observer reports. Having broken ground in December 2014, 300 South Tryon is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will serve as headquarters for Babson Capital Management, which will occupy approximately one-third of the structure’s 630,000 sq. ft. Developers and city officials believe the 25-story building will fill quickly due to pent-up demand. An adjoining 208-room hotel is also planned.   

ANSI Accreditation for NEIEP Program

The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) has earned accreditation for its Certified Signal Person and Rigger Levels 1 and 2 program from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). With the exception of a program from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, NEIEP is the only organization in the U.S. to offer such a program, which is especially important now that workers in some jurisdictions, such as Philadelphia, are required to have a card with the ANSI logo to perform rigging and signaling duties. Members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) may now earn their Level 1 or 2 certification through the program. For more information, contact Certification Director Tim Daly, International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 12, 6320 Manchester Avenue, No. 44, Kansas City, Missouri 64133; phone: (816) 358-1312; or website: elevatorcspr.org.

34-Story Tower To Be Tallest of Its Type in Denver

PM Realty Group and National Real Estate Advisors LLC are planning Confluence, a 34-story apartment tower near downtown Denver that would be the city’s tallest apartment building with some of its most expensive apartments. Dubbed “ultraluxury” by investors, the 288 units would be rented for more than twice the average apartment cost in Denver. To be located at the intersection of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, Confluence is expected to benefit by what FOX Business calls “a disproportionate share of white-collar jobs” and a dearth of residential space in the immediate vicinity. Completion is scheduled for early 2017.  

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Elevator World | February 2015 Cover