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Ascent Peachtree in downtown Atlanta; rendering courtesy of Banyan Street

Florida, Georgia and Tennessee see activity.

“Skyline-Defining” Project Rising in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee, is poised to get another “skyline-defining” project, consisting of a 40-story and slightly shorter tower at 151 First Avenue in the South of Broadway neighborhood, designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz (ELEVATOR WORLD, June 2016), the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat was among news outlets to report. The US$325-million development will include a 250-room hotel and approximately 420 residences, and work is underway. The property is being developed by a team that includes Northern Capital Investments of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Boston-based The Congress Group. The taller structure will become one of the city’s tallest buildings, joining the 33-story AT&T Tower, the 45-story 505 skyscraper (EW, February 2016), The Fifth Third Center and Bridgestone’s headquarters.

35-Story Vertical Medical City Planned in Orlando

A developer hopes to break ground in January 2020 for the 35-story Vertical Medical City on a 2.5-acre site in Orlando that formerly housed a Cadillac dealership, the Orlando Sentinel was among news outlets to report. Bounded by the SunRail tracks and Orange Avenue on the east, Marks Street on the south and Garland Avenue on the north and west, the property would be under a long-term land lease to Ponte Health. It would house offices, ground-floor retail, an assisted-living facility and parking. An office/multifamily project was proposed in 2006 at the site but never got past the application stage.

Affordable High-Rise Living Coming to Downtown Atlanta

Banyan Street and Greystar Capital announced in April they have secured air rights and financing to build Ascent Peachtree, a 29-story, 345-apartment building atop an existing parking garage in downtown Atlanta, The Patch reported. With ground set to break in May, the development aims to help balance a downtown market that has approximately 154,000 daytime workers but only 13,000 housing units. Seventy units will be priced for residents earning 80% or less of the median income. The developers touted Ascent Peachtree’s proximity to public transit, restaurants, retail and offices, including the adjacent office/retail property 191 Peachtree. The project is projected to create 150 new jobs and have a US$165- million impact on the city economy.

Minneapolis Getting Downtown Mixed-Use Skyscraper

A skyscraper plan in the works for nearly five years on the former site of the Nicolette Hotel in downtown Minneapolis is finally coming to fruition, with construction expected to start sometime this summer, the Star Tribune reported. The sale of the city-owned property to developer United Properties had been expected in June, with construction on the 37-story structure to start shortly thereafter. The plan had gone through numerous height and tenant-mix iterations before being finalized as the Gateway, which will house offices for RBC Wealth Management, a Four Seasons Hotel and a small number of residences. Scheduled for completion in 2021, Gateway will be the ninth-tallest building in Minneapolis.

Second Annual MESA Team Up

Held on April 23, the monthly meeting of the Massachusetts Elevator Safety Association (MESA) was an opportunity for members to attend the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) Safety Training meeting at the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 4 Union Hall and training center. The second annual meeting was also attended by most inspectors in the Boston and surrounding areas.

The first of two presentations was given by the Wirerope Works, Inc. team, in tandem with Harding Wire Rope, the local Wirerope distributor. The broad landscape on elevator ropes was covered, as well as some new technology. A question-and-answer (Q&A) period followed with contact info exchanged for follow-up answers. The next discussion was given by Norman Martin from Schindler on new fire service access elevator requirements. Martin is the Codes and Standards officer for Schindler and interfaces with AHJs across the U.S. and Canada. He is also former chief elevator inspector of Ohio. A robust Q&A period ensued on this new requirement to the elevator code.

A panel of DPL members was formed for a Q&A session from the elevator contractors in the audience, mostly clarifying existing conditions and how the code is applied. The panel consisted of Walter Zelinsky, Joe O’Malley, DPL Elevators Department Chief Steve Sampson and fire department representative John O’Donohue. The panel was given a list of 17 questions to answer or clarify and follow-up discussion after each. The Q&A was proctored by Andrea Hunt of Lerch Bates Boston Region. Vendors from Innovation Fixtures, Stencil Cutting Supply, MAD Elevator, Delaware Elevator Manufacturing and Brugg Wire Rope were on hand with small tabletop displays.

After a buffet lunch sponsored by MESA, the afternoon continued for the inspectors’ training and discussion period, wrapping up another successful MESA/DPL seminar. Reported by Matt Jackson, EW Correspondent

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