Changing SkylinesChanging Skylines: Tall Building Construction is on the Rise

With everything the U.S. economy has endured in the last decade, who would have thought that the development and construction of high-rise towers in major cities would be on the rise? Despite the recession, the events of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the real estate market collapse, a recent report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) – Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2013 – says that high-rise construction is increasing again across the country.

Hudson SpireHudson Spire Renderings Reveal Future Tallest High-Rise in U.S.

Renderings have been released of The Hudson Spire, potentially the future tallest building in the U.S. If built, the tower would surpass One World Trade Center and become the fourth-tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, The Shanghai Tower in China, and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Massey Knakal has been retained to sell the Hudson Boulevard facing site at 435 Tenth Avenue.

Wilshire GrandL.A.’s Wilshire Grand, Tallest Building on West Coast, Ready to Rise

Once completed, L.A.’s new Wilshire Grand will rise to 73-stories and top out at 1,100 feet tall with 5 levels of subterranean parking below grade. Workers for developer Korean Air have demolished the old Wilshire Grand hotel and excavated 106 feet down. Several contracts have been awarded for the first construction projects and an official groundbreaking is expected in January.

Roller CoasterDesign for World’s Tallest Roller Coaster, The Skyscraper, Unveiled in Orlando

Developers of The Skyscraper — the world’s tallest roller coaster and the anchor attraction for the $250 million Skyplex indoor entertainment complex — have revealed the track design for the thrill ride, set to open in 2017 in Orlando, Florida. David and Joshua Wallack, father-son restaurateurs and owners of Skyplex, unveiled the full ride experience animation of the Skyscraper at IAPPA’s (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Attractions Expo held in Orlando.

Old Post OfficeWhat Will Become of Chicago’s Old Post Office Mega-Development?

British developer Bill Davies, chairman of International Property Developers North America (IPDNA), has worked for years to get his redevelopment of Chicago’s Old Post Office off the ground but it appears that he is now willing to sell. Savills Studley is working on IPDNA’s behalf to find national and local investors to participate in an acquisition or joint venture of Chicago’s historic Old Post Office building and surrounding land parcels. Buyers can expect to pay at least $150 million with another $2 billion…

Multiple Car ElevatorMultiple-Car Elevator Systems on the Rise

The idea of having an elevator with two independent cabs operating in the same shaft dates back to the 1920s, when Sprague’s Dual Elevator System operated in a 20-story Pittsburgh building. It was taken out of service in 1931 and it wasn’t until 2002, when ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG announced its multiple-car elevator system, that we’d see two lifts using the same hoist-way again.

Elevator ModernizationElevator Modernization: Tips on Project Planning, Budgeting, and Management

“Think about a LinkedIn or Shutterstock employee,” says Thomas Durels, executive vice president, chief of property operations and leasing for Empire State Realty Trust. “Those are our tenants; they’re working at the Empire State Building any time, day or night. They’re traveling to and from restaurants, a fitness center, conference space, and their workspaces – all under one roof. We’re contributing to their productivity by making sure they don’t have to wait in line for an elevator as part of…

World Trade Center

High Rise Facilities Visits the World Trade Center Site

High Rise Facilities’ editorial director, Travis Barrington, recently toured the World Trade Center (WTC) site in New York City, accompanied by Serge Demerjian, development and construction manager for Silverstein Properties and Jerry Piserchia, senior project manager for Schindler Elevator. Soaring above lower Manhattan at 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center (1WTC) was declared America’s tallest building in November of last year by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The building, designed by…

Wow Suite

Chicago High-Rise Owner Turns Under-Used Top Floor Into ‘Wow’ Suite

A classic Mies van der Rohe-style building, 401 North Michigan was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the 1960s. Formerly known as the Equitable Building, the 35-story tower sits on the second largest plaza in Chicago. “Pioneer Court is second in size only to the Daley Plaza,” says Eric Taylor, assistant vice president at Zeller Realty Group. “The building purposely has a large plaza area so it could be set back…


Comcast to Build 59-Story $1.2 Billion Philadelphia Mixed-Use High-Rise

Philadelphia’s skyline will soon change with the addition of a 59-story, 1,121-foot tower. Comcast Corporation and Liberty Property Trust are jointly developing the “Comcast Innovation and Technology Center” on the 1800 block of Arch Street in Center City Philadelphia. The $1.2 billion mixed-use tower is expected to be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago and will be the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania.

Glass Houses

People Who Live in Glass Houses… Keep the Blinds Closed

Investing in something you don’t use seems like a waste of money and resources… but that’s what appears to be happening in New York City (and probably in other U.S. cities, too). A December 2013 study led by the Urban Green Council (UGC) looked at 55 buildings throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to see if the tenants in all-glass buildings actually took advantage of the views by keeping blinds, curtains, or shades open.

New Jersey

Grounbreaking for Tallest Residential High-Rise in New Jersey

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and its joint venture partner, Ironstate Development Company, broke ground this week on URL Harborside, a high-rise residential complex in Jersey City, New Jersey. According to the developer, URL, which stands for Urban Ready Living, is a direct response to the needs and desires of those looking to live in apartments that use less energy, provide more innovative spaces, and offer public areas that foster community.