Robert Bailey III
Robert Bailey III

When Porsche-obsessed South Florida developer Gil Dezer told builders he wanted his 60-story condominium to have a car-elevator system so that residents could park their luxury vehicles inside their respective units, he was asking for something that had never been done. Charged with delivering the dream was Rob Bailey, a 35-year veteran of engineering complex industrial systems, such as one for NASA’s massive Vehicle Assembly Building.

The resulting system—now patented as “the Dezervator”—takes existing “sky-garage” technology to another level by combining high-speed and freight-elevator concepts into what is believed to be the world’s first such system for carrying cars and human passengers. “These are the most complicated elevator systems I’ve ever seen,” says Bailey, president of Chicago-based Mid-American Elevator.

ENR's Top 25 Newsmakers IconContractors building Dezer’s Porsche Design Tower project in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., are preparing to install the system, which was first constructed and tested for full operation last year, at a testing site near Chicago. Guided by RFID tags placed on each car, Bailey’s design uses an 8,000-lb-capacity industrial car shuttle, made by Palis, to load the autos, while turntables and a multitude of sensors deliver the cars and their owners safely to their high-rise homes. The trip will be speedy, too, with the elevators racing upward at a rate of 800 ft per minute.

Dezer credits Bailey for engineering his high-flying project’s signature element. “He’s a brilliant guy and was a tremendous asset to this project,” he says.

The developer plans to use the patented system on future projects and may license it for use by others. With the Dezervator on its way to reality, “We are able to stretch the limits of conventional condominium designs and define a truly innovative approach to resolving parking issues typically encountered in high-rise developments,” comments Andrew Richards, vice president of Dezer Development. “The Porsche Design Tower sets a new standard for high-rise residential living.”

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