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Hard Rock demolition steps could begin as soon as Monday after City and owners reach agreement

Updated: Apr. 30, 2020 at 11:33 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Work to demolish the Hard Rock Hotel construction site could start as soon as Monday after months of delays.

The owners of the Hard Rock collapse site say they can begin moving in demolition equipment as early as Monday, as the city says it is issuing a demolition permit.

An agreement was reached in Orleans Civil Court.

Attorneys for the city, Hard Rock owners and several contractors logged in for a zoom court hearing this morning and announced that after months of negotiations an agreement was finally reached to allow Hard Rock owners to move forward with demolition instead of an implosion.

The attorney for the owners, say preliminary work could begin as early as Monday.

The City and 1031 Canal had hoped to have an agreement yesterday but the city said they were still bonding and demolition safety issues which needed to be worked out.

Now they say an agreement has been reached and the first order of business will be to remove a large construction crane that sits precariously over the collapse site and Canal Street.

Civil engineer Nick Cammarata who has testified in dozens of court cases say says it’s a realistic first step.

Kerry Miller, the attorney for 1031 Canal, says they can begin moving in demolition material Monday but he warned the judge that there is one possible sticking point remaining.

1031 Canal has asked for permission to demolish three buildings near the demolition site. Those demolitions must still be approved by the historic district landmarks commission at a meeting next week.

1031 Canal has said they could have the two bodies inside the collapse site removed and Canal Street reopened by the middle of July.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell released a statement on the agreement saying,

“The City of New Orleans has been persistent in its demand that the property owners of 1031 Canal St. / the Kailas family, be held accountable in moving a safe demolition of their property forward, at their expense. The property owners have an obligation to address the damages they’ve caused to this City and its residents as a result of their collapsed building. There is no more time for delay, and a safe demolition should move forward immediately”.

The City of New Orleans told Judge Kern Reese Thursday that they would be ready to issue a conditional demolition permit to the owners of the Hard Rock site, 1031 Canal, but there are still concerns about the uncontrolled collapse.

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