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Jax Daily Record Friday, Feb. 18, 202209:26 AM EST

Blackstone Building window repair approved

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The $240,000 project will replace 17 panes shattered three years ago when the City Hall Annex was imploded.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The city issued a building permit Feb. 17 authorizing replacement of damaged windows at the Blackstone Building Downtown at 233 E. Bay St.

Contractor RLH Construction LLC, based in Oviedo, will replace exterior glass and make minor interior repairs at a job cost of $240,000.

The windows were damaged Jan. 20, 2019, when the former Jacksonville City Hall Annex was imploded. Shrapnel from the explosive demolition damaged 17 windows in the Blackstone Building across the street.

The contractor for the annex demolition was Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc.

Controlled Demolition is scheduled March 6 to implode the abandoned Berkman II tower at 500 E. Bay St., a few blocks east of the Blackstone Building.

Blackstone Building Inc., the building’s condominium association, sued CDI in June 2019. According to the lawsuit, while the Blackstone Building owners and tenants were advised to evacuate when the annex was to be imploded, there were no warnings about possible property damage.

The complaint, which remains unresolved, alleges that the owners asked CDI to install a protective curtain on the side of Blackstone Building to stop flying debris.

The defendants initially indicated that they would install the curtain, but the day before the implosion “changed their minds” and informed the owners that the curtain would not be installed, according to the complaint.

A Dec. 28, 2021, report by Alta Engineering Co. said debris from the implosion caused the damage to the windows.

The resport says the demolition was performed using explosives contained in brass housings. Shrapnel from the housings struck the south face of the Blackstone Building, causing the 1/4-inch-thick tempered glass windows to break.

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