Demolition proves challenging for $500M Tampa project
- Perhaps as a testament to the quality of construction in the 1970s, it took demolition crews three days to bring down a five-story office building in Tampa, Florida, in order to make way for the $500 million, mixed-use development, according to WTSP.
- As part of a procedure that was intended to raze the structure in a matter of minutes on Sunday, a demolition crew attempted to weaken the building by cutting the steel support beams so that they could use four excavators, attached to the building with steel cables, to pull it over. After three of the four cables snapped, according to the Tampa Bay Times, crews continued their efforts until Tuesday, when the building finally came down. WTSP reported that the demolition procedure, which was designed to save about 24,000 pounds of concrete to be used in the new development, could have hindered the process.
- Called Midtown Tampa, the new 1.8-million-square-foot walkable development, according to The Times, will better connect downtown Tampa with the Westshore district in the city's Midtown area. New York-based general contractor Barr & Barr will soon begin construction on 240,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space; 750,000 square feet of Class A office space; 400 residential units and a 225-room hotel. The project will also include a pedestrian plaza with a fountain.
Walkability and an "urban-core" district are key components of modern mixed-use developments, even in automobile-centric areas of the U.S., such as central Florida and northern Texas.
The owner of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeff Vinik, has teamed up with Microsoft's Bill Gates to build the $3 billion Water Street Tampa development in downtown Tampa. It will take construction crews about nine years to complete the 57-acre project, which will include an office building, 1,400 residential units, two hotels, retail space and the University of South Florida's Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute. The project is also expected to be the first certified under the International WELL Building Institute's new WELL district standard.
In Texas, there are several new mixed-use complexes either under construction or in the planning stages. The $1.8 billion Frisco Station in Frisco, Texas, is underway along the city's "$5 billion mile," a reference to the $1 billion-plus projects along a mile of the Dallas North Tollway. The Frisco Station project will see residential, retail, office hotel and other mixed-use components center around the Hub, the development's primary entertainment project.
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