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Demolition scheduled for one of Downtown Jacksonville’s biggest eyesores: The Berkman Plaza II

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After sitting vacant and unfinished on Bay Street downtown for more than a decade, demolition for one of downtown’s eyesores could begin as early as Wednesday.

Demolition crews said they had been waiting on a part for the machinery that was going to be used. It was expected to come on Tuesday, which means the tearing down process for the Berkman Plaza II building on Bay Street could start as early as Wednesday.

Demolition was originally set to begin last week, according to the property’s new owner, Jacksonville Riverfront Revitalization, which paid $5.6M for the property. The developer plans to start by cutting away at the top floors of the 18-story structure.

It will cost more than $1 million to tear the old Berkman tower down.

News4Jax Reporter Brittany Muller is in downtown Jacksonville where the Berkman Two Tower is set to come down.
News4Jax Reporter Brittany Muller is in downtown Jacksonville where the Berkman Two Tower is set to come down.

The demolition firm, Pece of Mind, told News4Jax: “This equipment is a unique piece of machinery that will reach high to the top of the shell structure on the site and literally ‘bite off’ the concrete and steel like giant scissors, then move it safely away from the building.”

It was 13 years ago when the parking garage next to the Plaza collapsed, killing one man and injuring 23 others.

RELATED: A Jacksonville riverfront eyesore is coming down. What’s next?

The developers hope to build a mixed-use development, called 500 East Bay, but the project will need to be approved by the Downtown Investment Authority.

The plan would include about 300 new apartments, 40 townhomes, and possibly a grocery store and pharmacy.

At the same time, the proposed site is said to complement Shad Khan’s downtown development plan.

It’s expected to take several months to finish the demolition.


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