Jobs shifted, added at Columbia, Adams, WAGO and Lerch Bates.

Norman Foster designed the Upper East Side tower, set to contain 115 luxury apartments.

New Executive Positions at Columbia Elevator

Columbia Elevator Products Co. Inc. has announced that Louis “L.J.” Blaiotta, Jr. has assumed the position of CEO of the company. Blaiotta continues to focus on Columbia’s strategic direction and future alliances in conjunction with Lou Blaiotta, Sr., who continues as chairman. His former role as president has been assumed by James E. Yates, who will be responsible for all day-to-day operations. Furthermore, as part of Columbia’s executive restructure, Grace Y. Greco has been named director of marketing and business development and Tom Birdsall as director of engineering.

Yates joined Columbia in 2008, bringing a 30-plus-year background of finance experience in a manufacturing environment. Functioning initially as chief financial officer, he was appointed chief operating officer in 2013. In his new role as president, he focuses on controlled growth strategy and management of infrastructure and resources, with a continuing emphasis on safety, quality control and the integration of evolving technology.

Greco came to Columbia in 2010. Her previous experience included customer service, construction project management, service sales, new equipment sales, national accounts and a stint as vice president/national sales manager. Her work at Columbia over the past five years has included outside sales and a role as marketing manager. She is now responsible for development and execution of the company’s strategic marketing plan, consulting with the company’s executive leadership team, and developing the company’s sales strategy and presentations of its products to OEMs, architects and elevator consultants.

Birdsall has been working at Columbia for more than 20 years as facilities manager and in various other capacities. In his new position as director of engineering, he joins the executive team in implementing Columbia’s strategic growth plan and new product design program, and serves as the company’s liaison between the engineering department and end users, while Marc Dinkes continues in his role as vice president of systems.

Adams Creates New Position, Promotes from Within

Adams Elevator Equipment Co., headquartered in Chicago, has promoted Mike Thinnes to the newly created position of Applications engineer. In this role, he will be instrumental in establishing and developing a range of hardware and software upgrade packages for Adams customers who service Westinghouse, Haughton and Schindler equipment. In his past role as associate engineer on Adams’ Technical Support team, Thinnes served as a go-to person for technical assistance and troubleshooting. He most recently led support efforts for customers seeking printed circuit boards and replacement software. Adams General Manager Rick Stumpf opined:

“[Thinnes] has served as an integral part of the Adams team for over nine years. He is the most qualified person to step into this new position and run with it. Please join me in congratulating him on this well-deserved promotion.”

WAGO Hires Stirpe to Manage Sales in Upstate New York

WAGO Corp., headquartered in Germantown, Wisconsin, has hired Joe Stirpe as regional sales manager for upstate New York. He is tasked with developing a broad customer-support base and ensuring WAGO remains a key supplier to OEMs and distributors in the region. Stirpe has a diverse background in technical sales and business development, and has held leadership positions with Siemens, Invensys Eurotherm and KJ Electric Corp.

Erwin to Manage Dallas Area Lerch Bates Office

Lerch Bates Inc. has hired Jacob Erwin as regional manager for its South Central Region of Mountain Area, headquartered in Dallas. Erwin comes to Lerch Bates with considerable industry experience, having held various leadership positions with thyssenkrupp in Denver after working his way up from a service and repair sales representative. He was also service and modernization sales manager at Fujitec America, and has been involved in projects such as the MGM Grand and Monte Carlo in Las Vegas and the Denver International Airport. He holds a BS in History and an MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon.

KONE to Supply Major Seattle Hotel, Debut JumpLift in U.S.

KONE has been awarded a contract to supply 36 units to the 45-story Eighth and Howell Convention Center Hotel in Seattle, which, upon completion in 2018, will be the largest hotel in the Pacific Northwest with 1,264 rooms. KONE plans to utilize its JumpLift self-climbing elevator during construction of two of the elevators, marking JumpLift’s U.S. debut. Awarded by Elliott NE, LLC with project management by Sellen Construction, the contract includes 16 EcoSystem MRTM, six MonoSpace® and two freight elevators, 12 TravelMasterTM escalators and the PolarisTM destination-control system.

New York City

Various contracts and a special award make bustling Big Apple continue to stand out.

Three Contracts for TEI Group

TEI Group received several contracts for developments in New York City (NYC). The first is from Bravo Builders to install six overhead gearless passenger cars in a new 33-story residential and hotel development. The building is to rise in downtown Brooklyn and house 381 apartments and 119 hotel rooms. The second is from Sciame to install three overhead gearless traction elevators, one hydraulic elevator and one wheelchair lift in the 10-story Collegiate School’s Riverside Center Expansion within Extell’s Riverside Center development on the new Freedom Place South throughway.

Finally, the company was awarded a contract with Tishman Construction to install four traction elevators, one hydraulic elevator and one private-residence elevator in the under-construction West Village full-block luxury condominium building across from Pier 40 in downtown Manhattan. This 12-story apartment building was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, designer of the Olympic “Bird’s Nest” Stadium in Beijing. It is being developed by Ian Schrager, builder of 40 Bond Street; the Vector Group; and the Witkoff Group. It is to have approximately 50 condos and is due for completion later this year.

Upper East Side Apartment Tower Progresses

Barring a “midnight rezoning,” the Bauhouse Group’s plan to build an 80-story, 900-ft.-tall apartment tower in the Sutton Place neighborhood on the Upper East Side looked to be moving forward in December, with permits granted for demolition of existing structures, Curbed New York reported. Bauhouse also secured the Carlton Group as financial partner for the project, designed by Norman Foster and located at 426-432 East 58th Street. The plan has drawn criticism from those who contend it will mar the character of the neighborhood.

Two-Towered, Mixed-Use Project for Meatpacking District

A neglected block owned by HFZ Capital just northwest of the Meatpacking District’s Chelsea Market is set to get a mixed-use structure that consists of 402- and 302-ft.-tall towers that share a base, New York YIMBY reported. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the plan includes 50,000 sq. ft. of retail, 150,000 sq. ft. for a hotel and 550,000 sq. ft. of residential space and related amenities. A diagonal cut that maximizes views of High Line Park from residencies goes through the site. The address is 76 11th Avenue, and completion is anticipated in roughly 2018.

1 WTC Crew Wins thyssenkrupp President’s Award

Crew members from thyssenkrupp who led and managed installation of the elevators and escalators in One World Trade Center (1 WTC) recently won the company’s President’s Award for their work on the project. They were honored during thyssenkrupp’s annual Recognition Awards ceremony in South Beach, Florida. Accepting the award on behalf of the team were Joe Braman, regional vice president; Mike DeNardo, construction supervisor (retired); Joe Majerscak, general foreman; Lynn Cozza, branch office manager; and field engineers Ben Wells and Scott Lahmers.

NYC-based Braman, who was responsible for overseeing the entire project, observed:

“The sheer magnitude of the project was unprecedented. The scale affected everything — the amount of materials we needed, the size of the equipment, the logistics, the staffing. Everyone brought their expertise to the table, and we worked hard to come up with thoughtful solutions.”

Tetrahedron-Shaped BIG Design Is Eyecatcher

Residents are expected to start moving in this spring to VIA 57 West, a 32-story, 460-ft.-tall tetrahedron-shaped building at 625 West 57th Street designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), New York YIMBY reported. VIA 57 cuts a striking figure on the far west side and has been described by BIG as a skyscraper/courtyard lovechild, with irregularly shaped outdoor space and a courtyard that opens onto the Hudson River. The building is rich with amenities, and demand is expected to be high for the approximately 700 apartments within. Van Deusen & Associates (VDA) consulted on its vertical-transportation system, which includes 10 elevators. The Durst Organization is the developer.

Elevators to Bring Accessibility to Bronx Subway Station

A pair of elevators that will bring greater accessibility to one of the busiest subway stations in the Bronx, appears ready to move forward, the Bronx Times reported. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority included, as part of its 2015-2019 capital budget, US$45 million for the elevators, which will replace the unit on the east side of the 49th Street/Grand Concourse Station and add a new one on the west side. The elevators will make the station Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. The project is expected to start sometime this year and be complete in 2018.

Conflict-of-Interest, Safety Issues Raised in Rhode Island

NBC 10 in Rhode Island has raised conflict-of-interest and safety issues about inspection of the state’s 4,100 elevators. That is because there are only two state employees tasked with inspecting newly installed or modernized units, with people from licensed elevator companies approved by the state handling the rest. Often, these inspectors are from the same companies that installed and maintain the units, creating a potential conflict. An investigation at a mall in Providence, Rhode Island, found that eight of its 26 elevators had expired inspection certificates, which could indicate safety issues. State authorities said they are aware of and trying to address the problem but, because of downsizing, are forced to do more with less.

Residential High Rises around the Country

Big investments underway for Philadelphia, Nashville and Indianapolis.

US$300-Million Tower Planned in Philadelphia

A US$300-million, 47-to-51-story residential tower with retail on the lower floors is being planned at 1911 Walnut Street in the Center City area of Philadelphia by Tennessee developer Southern Land Co., the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. In late 2015, Southern said it intended to solicit feedback from neighborhood residents before finalizing plans. The design by Solomon Cordwell Buenz features tiered portions at the lower levels, a rooftop deck and restaurant overlooking a park and an “urban gardenscape” atop the roof of a lower structure. It is set to include more than 400 residences. As of late 2015, no timeframe had been announced.

Building Will Be among Nashville’s Tallest

A 45-story, US$169-million residential tower that will be the tallest in Nashville, Tennessee, in terms of occupied floors, is moving forward with financing in place, The Tennessean reported. Developer Tony Giarratana is using bank and tax-increment-financing loans to build 505, named for its address at 505 Church Street, at the intersection of Church Street and Fifth Avenue. It is set to contain 550 residences with condominiums on the upper third portion.

28-Story Apartment Tower Rising in Indianapolis

Approximately one year after groundbreaking, the 28-story 360 Market Square apartment tower at 360 E. Market Street in downtown Indianapolis is rising, the Indy Star reported. Flaherty & Collins is the developer of the project, being built on the site of the former Market Square Arena next to a 10-story building that will serve as headquarters for an engine manufacturer. The US$121-million project is set to include approximately 300 apartments, a 600-space parking garage and a ground-level Whole Foods scheduled to open in June 2017, several months ahead of the apartments. 360 Market Square will join a growing number of new Indianapolis apartment developments.

Otis Hired for McCormick Place Project in Chicago

Otis has been hired by Prairie District3 Partners, ­a joint venture led by Clark Construction Group, to supply 39 units to McCormick Place event center and hotel in Chicago. The order consists of 13 SkyriseTM and 14 Gen2® elevators and 12 energy-efficient NCE escalators. Scheduled to be substantially complete by fall 2017, McCormick Place will have a 10,500-seat multipurpose arena, 40-story Marriott Marquis hotel and renovated American Book Co. building, all connected by pedestrian bridges. It will be among the largest convention facilities in North America.

EIGSC Officers for 2016

The Elevator Industry Group of Southern California (EIGSC) has elected its 2016 officers. They are: President Stan Schultz, retired elevator-industry veteran; Vice President Leslie Malloy of West Coast Innovative Pro Pads; Secretary Allan Lloyd of Abell Elevator of California; and Treasurer Corey Tobin of Bolton & Co. Former EIGSC President Ray Miller of the Prysmian Group noted most have held offices in the past, so he is confident in their leadership. He also encourages other members to assist with EIGSC’s 2016 initiatives.

Downtown Milwaukee Redefining Itself

A trio of skyscrapers, along with historic properties turned into lofts and new infrastructure such as a streetcar system, promise to inject new life into downtown Milwaukee, the Associated Press reported. Planned or underway are the 32-story Northwestern Mutual office building (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2013), a 33-story apartment tower and the 44-story mixed-use Couture Project designed by Matt Rinka. Expected to break ground soon, Couture would include a hub for the new streetcar. A new National Basketball Association arena and, possibly, an entertainment district could also soon take shape. City leaders hope the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars currently being invested in downtown Milwaukee is only the beginning.

Logan Airport Moving Walks Could Break Records

Plans for the Logan International Airport in Boston include building a pedestrian connection between Terminal E and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Blue Line’s Airport Station next door. That link would measure more than 2,600 ft. long and may feature one or multiple moving walks. The Boston Globe reported that if a single one that stretches the entire length of the connection is built, “it would shatter the current global record for the longest moving walkway in a city.” Even a series of moving walks stretching from the T station to Terminal E could break a different record for the longest system in the world.

Part of the airport’s “Terminal E Modernization Project,” an enclosed, weather-protected pedestrian connection that “may include moving sidewalks” would cross Logan’s roadway, either underground or via an overpass. The plans require state and federal approval before groundbreaking, scheduled for 2017.

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Elevator World | February 2016 Cover