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HOUSING, INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS PROPEL INDIAN VT SALES
Demand for housing and infrastructure is expected to result in increased sales of elevators and escalators in India, of 7% and 66%, respectively, this year, The Hindu reports, sharing insight gathered at the International Elevator & Escalator Expo 2018. Schindler India Managing Director Uday Kulkarni observed elevator sales are expected to increase from 56,000 last year to 60,000 this year. Driven by demand from metros and railways, escalator sales are expected to increase from 1,800 last year to 3,000 this year, he said. Otis India President Sebi Joseph said a commitment to increasing the pace of urbanization through metro, railway and airport expansion promises to fuel growth.
KONE OUTFITTING CHINESE HOSPITAL WITH NEARLY 200 UNITS
KONE has landed an order to supply 148 elevators and 56 escalators to the Xi'an International Medical Building in Xi'an, China. Located in the Yellow River Basin in Shaanxi province at the start of the Silk Road, the facility will be among the largest of its kind in the world upon completion in 2020. The order consists of 124 S MonoSpace® and 10 N MonoSpace elevators, four TranSysTM freight elevators and 56 TravelMasterTM escalators. The facility, expected to attract medical tourists to Xi’an, will have a five-story technology building surrounded by four, 11-story buildings for specialized departments.
NYC MTA STRIVING TO ADDRESS ELEVATOR AVAILABILITY
The 249 elevators in New York City’s (NYC) Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) system are available 95.6% of the time, AM New York reports. The source means the MTA is "comfortable with having its elevators out of service two weeks in a year," the source said, pointing to cities like Boston, where transit system elevator availability improved from 90% to nearly 100% through a mix of contractors and elevator support staff. MTA has set an elevator availability goal of 96.5%, and reports it is actively addressing factors such as recruiting and retaining staff. At the end of 2017, MTA had 397 elevator and escalator maintenance staff, approximately 21% fewer than what was budgeted. MTA said it has been working with the union on higher wages and better benefits, and hired 30 new maintenance workers since negotiations ended at the end of 2017.
IN MEMORIAM: WILLAM R. TOWNSEND
William R. "Bill" Townsend, a well-known and well-liked elevator man in the Chicagoland area for many years, passed away on March 3 at age 85. A resident of Lombard, Illinois, Townsend owned Liftomatic Elevator Co., also of Lombard, which is one of the oldest independently owned and operated elevator businesses in the area. It was recently purchased by Townsend's daughter, Deborah Giuliano, who is among his survivors. Townsend is also survived by daughter, Michelle, and son, Bill; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Lewy Body Dementia Association or the American Stroke Association.
TALLEST, PRICIEST PROJECT IN YEARS IN MINNEAPOLIS
New York City architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern has designed the Eleven, a 39-story condominium tower for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront for developers the Ryan Cos. and Luigi Bernardi, the Star Tribune reports. Coming online in a time of high demand and low supply, the building will be the tallest and most expensive to take shape in the city in a decade. Stern partner Paul Whalen drew inspiration from nearby historic structures for a design that features a slender tower atop a multistory podium housing parking, offices and guest suites. The Eleven is set to include approximately 100 units. Response from the community has been positive.
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