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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 8, 202101:45 PM EST

Developer: Another delay for the Berkman Plaza II implosion

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Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization LLC said the Downtown high-rise will not come down until late November, possibly early December.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

Developer Park Beeler said Nov. 8 the implosion of the unfinished Berkman Plaza II high-rise Downtown is again being delayed.

Beeler, co-manager of Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization LLC, said the developer and demolition companies have scrapped a Nov. 14 demolition because of scheduling conflicts and safety concerns.

The implosion initially was planned for Oct. 17.

According to Beeler, the 14-year-old building shell at 500 E. Bay St. could come down after Thanksgiving, but likely early December.

He said the development team is in contact with the city Municipal Code Compliance Division and hopes to announce a new date soon.

Beeler said the implosion was complicated because of the Berkman II’s structural instability discovered in August that previously halted demolition using a high-reach excavator.

Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization will purchase supplemental liability insurance beyond what demolition contractors Pece of Mind Environmental Inc. and Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc. hold on the implosion to cover damage that could be caused by dust and debris, he said.

“We’re being extra cautious on all of that,” Beeler said.

According to Beeler, there is no danger of the building collapsing before the implosion.

Beeler said Controlled Demolition also has scheduling conflicts with other projects past Nov. 14 that will need to be worked around.

PB Riverfront Revitalization of Jacksonville LLC,  a company controlled by the developer, bought the Berkman II on April 21 for $5.503 million and plans to redevelop the site.

This is the second time in a month that Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization has delayed the implosion.

Beeler and City Council member Reggie Gaffney announced the delay from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14 during a news conference in October at the job site, citing supply chain issues with components to execute the blast and safety.

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