Demolition company cannot get insurance to implode Hard Rock construction site, developer says

Demolition company cannot get insurance to implode Hard Rock construction site, developer says
The Hard Rock Hotel collapse site will now be taken down piece-by-piece, rather than imploded. (Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The company contracted by the developers of the doomed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans to knock the building down does not have the liability insurance to do the job, according to 1031 Canal Development.

“In January, the City advocated the use of DH Griffin Wrecking to carry out a demolition by implosion. In January, Griffin and 1031 Canal Development entered into a term sheet agreement in which Griffin agreed to provide $50 million in insurance to cover any damages caused by the implosion,” a spokesperson for the development comany said. “Appropriate insurance is absolutely essential because of the risks attendant to an implosion and because Griffin has demanded immunity and indemnity from the State of Louisiana.”

A contract was signed on March 18, but 1031 Canal Development was told Griffin was unable to obtain the insurance.

“As a result, to retrieve the remains as quickly as possible and to safely demolish the building, 1031 Canal Development has entered into a contract with Kolb Grading, a nationally regarded demolition contractor, to carry out a traditional demolition,” the developers said in a statement.

Traditional demolition would be taking the building apart piece-by-piece versus an implosion. The city went back-and-forth on the decision after the Oct. 12 partial collapse.

Three people were killed and more than a dozen others were injured. Two bodies remain at the site.

Recently, a spokesperson with the City of New Orleans said the scheduled demolition would be moved from March to April

Two cranes were imploded on Oct. 20. The event drew hundreds of people who were kept at a safe distance.

Kolb Grading will not need state immunity and indemnity because of they way they will take the building down.

The company has applied for a permit with the city to carry out the work. As soon as the demolition permit is approved, 1031 Canal Development says it is ready to move forward.

Hard Rock International says it had no hand in the construction of the building. In fact, they are suing for losses.

No solid date has been set for the demolition of the building.

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.