• Demolition deadline passes but round building still stands in downtown Orlando


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The old round building that sits across from Orlando's City Hall and in front of the new multimillion dollar Orlando Center for the Performing Arts was supposed to be gone by now, but most of it still stands.
    The partially dismantled building was initially to be gone before the arts center opened. It has taken some holiday visitors by surprise.
    "You weren't under attack were you? It looks like a bombed out building," visitors Lynne Geary and Lanny Geary told Channel 9's Lori Brown.
    Last week Channel 9 reported that contractor Pece of Mind Environmental warned the city that Crusader Demolition wasn't qualified to do the demolition project.
    A bid protest claimed that Crusader had never demolished even one three-story building.
    Following the protest the city changed the qualifications and awarded the bid to Crusader again.
    Brown made a number of attempts to contact Crusader, including driving to Lakeland, where she found their office building locked.
    City officials blame the delays in part on the company's vice president being fired, after Channel 9 aired video showing him fire a rifle inside the building.
    Brown asked another demolition company, Central Environmental Services, about the lack of progress on the project.
    "This building should have been on the ground and grass growing three months ago," said Richard Lorenz.
    According to representatives with Central Environmental Services, their company has demolished 50 buildings that were over six stories in height and entered a bid that was $100,000 less than the Crusader bid.
    Records show that the city did not consider Central Environmental Services' bid because Lorenz doesn't have a general contractor's license. Lorenz said the job is not one for a general contractor but rather for a demolition company. He said his company has done hundreds of demolitions for the city.
    On Friday the owner of Crusader called Brown and said that the reason no one was working on the demolition Thursday, one day before the deadline, was because a part had broken on a critical piece of equipment and they weren't able to get a replacement shipped over the holidays. He said they building would be demolished by Jan. 9 at the latest.

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