Sinking Texas Gulf Coast Condos Razed Before Completion
Ocean Towers LP hired Controlled Demolition Inc. of Phoenix, Md., to raze its incompletecondominium tower on South Padre Island, which is plagued by 14 in. of differential vertical subsidence between the post-tensioned, low-rise parking garage attached to the tower, Engineering News-Record reported. According to the owner, the tower’s weight caused a layer of expandable clay under an upper sand layer to compress. Settlement followed, causing damage to the garage at the connection to the tower. The developer stopped construction last year, when the frame was topped out and half clad. The building, designed by Brownsville-based Walker & Perez Architects with construction managed by Zachry’s Coastal Constructors Southwest Ventures of Grand Prairie, bears on auger-cast, pressure-grouted piles in the sand layer. Litigation is pending against San Antonio-based geotechnical consultant Raba-Kistner, which stands behind its work, says its lawyer, and structural consultant Datum Engineers of Dallas and Austin. Datum’s lawyer could not be reached. At press time, demolition was expected in mid-November.