One of the largest general contractors in the southeastern U.S. is seeking a buyer for a partially completed high-rise building it acquired by foreclosure when the developer defaulted on a $12.4-million civil award for nonpayment and breach of contract. Construction on the building in Jacksonville, Fla., was halted in December 2007, after an attached six-level parking garage partially collapsed during concrete placement on the top level. A laborer was killed and 23 other workers injured in the pancake collapse.
Berkman Plaza II, designed as a 23-story condominium tower with 222 residential units, was about 50% complete at the time of the accident, estimates Michael Hampton, chief operating officer for Atlanta-based Choate Construction Co., which had served as the project's general contractor. (ENR 12/17/07 p. 10). "There were 18 floors of concrete in the air on the property," but no windows. The derelict eyesore sits in the center of Jacksonville as the lawsuits wind their way through court.