Unfinished Berkman Plaza II to go up for auction

By Jim Piggott - Reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The shell of a condominium tower on the St. Johns River that has sat untouched since a deadly collapse seven years ago is about to go on the auction block.

A bankruptcy judge recently awarded a lien on the half-built Berkman Plaza II to Choate Construction, the general contractor on the property. The property has sat dormant since December 2007, when the parking garage collapsed, killing one construction worker and injuring 23 others.

Choate is owed just over $10 million. If no one bids that amount or more in the foreclosure auction on April 29, Choate will be awarded ownership of the property.  The estimated value of the property is $12.4 million.

If the building is sold, some of the money would be used to pay back taxes on the property.

The new owner could finish the tower, tear it down or sell the property.  Neighbors Any of those options would be an improvement, say residents in the occupied Berkman Plaza next door.

"I am kind of encouraged if something does happen," said David Good.  "Right now its kind of an eyesore. I lived here about three months so it's good to see improvements."

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