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Tower development continues in L.A., and a major transit upgrade is greenlit in San Francisco.

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A new rendering for the Sky Trees LA project in downtown Los Angeles shows a tower rising perhaps as high as 70 stories; image from CTBUH.

Tree-Inspired Tower to Gain Height

A new mixed-use tower planned for downtown Los Angeles may be taller than the original proposal, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) reported in February. Citing new renderings, CTBUH said the so-called “Sky Trees LA” project would place a tower as tall as 70 stories on the site. The original proposal by Australian developer Crown Group called for a 52-story, 528-unit residential tower.

The new renderings, from Australia’s Koichi Takada Architects, envision Sky Trees LA as a grouping of thin, rounded towers of various heights capped by arched profiles and tree-lined rooftop terraces. The design was inspired by California’s redwood trees.

The project is one of many planned or under construction in the South Park neighborhood, an area that, until recently, had only one high-rise structure, the 32-story William L. Pereira-designed Occidental Life building from 1968. In the past three years, however, nearly two dozen towers have been proposed or built along the north-south Figueroa Corridor nearby. A timeline for Sky Trees LA has not been announced.

BART Replacing 41 Escalators, Four Elevators

The Board of Directors of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART) in San Francisco met in March to approve a US$96.4- million plan to replace 41 escalators and four elevators at the system’s busiest stations, various news outlets, including FOX KTVU Channel 2, reported. Board President Bevan Dufty said the move, described by the San Francisco Gate as the largest-ever BART escalator expenditure, would be “game changing.” The process is expected to take approximately seven years, with the first units delivered in spring 2020 and approximately six units per year being installed. Stations set to get new equipment are Embarcadero (including four elevators), Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center/UN Plaza. The contract includes outdoor canopies to protect the equipment and requires the contractor to maintain 96% availability over 10 years.

Escalator Upgrade at Enterprise Center in St. Louis

National Hockey League team the St. Louis Blues announced it is modernizing the five escalators in the 18,400-seat Enterprise Center arena in St. Louis, KMOX News Radio 1120 reported. To take place in three phases that had been set to start in March, the work is part of an overall, three-year renovation of the facility, which opened in 1994. Scheduled through June 17, phase one consists of replacing two unitsone next to Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Bar and another next to an STL Authentics store while keeping another two in the same areas open. From June to September, phase two will see the reopening of the unit near the bar as the other escalator is modernized. Phase three is set to take place from September to December, and includes the West Garage escalator and the remaining escalator near STL Authentics.

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Elevator World | May 2019 Cover