Berkman II implosion delayed again, company still assessing risks

A city official told First Coast News the company wants to finalize its risk assessment before moving forward with the demolition.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Editor’s Note: The video above is from a previous story dated July 15, 2021.

The implosion of the Berkman Plaza II building in Downtown Jacksonville will be postponed for the immediate future.

The demolition was scheduled to take place on Sunday. However, the company responsible for the demolition told the city it is finalizing risk assessments, according to a Jacksonville city spokesperson.

The delay announced Monday is only the latest in a series of postponements of a project that would finally rid the city of a vacant building that has been an eyesore in the city’s skyline for 13 years.

Originally, the building was going to be taken apart piece-by-piece from the top-down in July. However, that plan was later scrapped in August as the building was found to be structurally unsafe.

“We knew that the structure was old and we felt that it would hold, but unfortunately what I was told by the engineers is it’s been out in the elements for 12-13 years,” City Councilman Reggie Gaffney said in September.

The new plan was to implode the 18-story building in October. However, the date of Oct. 17 was pushed back due to supply chain issues for protective fencing for surrounding buildings.

City officials set Nov. 14 as the new date for the demolitions until Monday’s delay was announced. A new date for the demolition has not been announced.

Development plans call for a new 26-story tower and three shorter buildings to be built after the demolition of the Berkman Plaza II.

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