The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 10, 2013

Mankato elevator company landing some big projects — big as a bus

MEI hired by other elevator companies around the country to build specialty elevators

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MANKATO —

Klehr said it’s one of many big projects the company has landed recently.

“We’ve done several dozen elevators at the World Trade complex. We’re doing some with glass-bottom floors. We have elevators in three of the towers and at the memorial site.” The company also just landed its biggest project ever, building elevators for a massive VA hospital complex in Denver. They also makes elevators for Target and Ikea stores and a number of malls.

“We’ve had nice growth the past five or six years,” Klehr said of the company that was founded in 1971 by John Romness. MEI is an ESOP — employee stock ownership plan company.

The Barclays complex job also had another Mankato connection. Big elevators carrying big name stars have big potential liability and lawyer Michael Jacobs of the Mankato Leonard, Street and Deinard office made sure MEI was covered.

“On a design-build elevator you want to protect them. The installation standards, warranty, making sure all the engineers and architects agree what the standards are,” Jacobs said.

“You don’t see too many elevators that lift buses. Something like that has the potential for high injury,” he said.

“It was a cool project to work on. But in the end, it’s another elevator contract.”

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