Hard Rock site has new July timeline for demolition, developer says

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FILE – This Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, shows damage of a partial collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel under construction in New Orleans. Dozens of protesters marched from the site of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel on the edge of the French Quarter to City Hall on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 demanding that something be done about the hotel and that the two bodies still inside be recovered. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) – Developers of the Hard Rock hotel site said Thursday the upper floors of the partially collapsed building should come down by mid-July, before the peak of hurricane season.

The plan also includes removing the bodies of two workers that have been trapped in the rubble since the deadly collapse in October, according to Kerry Miller, an attorney for the developer, 1031 Canal Street LLC.

Miller said the timeline depends on the City of New Orleans issuing the relevant permits “promptly.”

The steel structure on floors nine through 18 that collapsed would be included in the July demolition plan.

The developers provided an update to Orleans Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese during a virtual hearing Thursday, where Miller said they provided details on the recovery of the victim’s remains, preservation of evidence and plans to avoid damage to neighboring properties.

“1031 canal remains committed to a safe demolition process and is hopeful that work will begin soon,” the developer said in a statement.

The Court has had oversight and provided input in the demolition plans and permitting process as part of litigation involving the developer and the city’s administration, which has been critical of the developer’s response to the collapse.

Three workers were killed in the collapse and several others were injured. The bodies of Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce Arreola remain at the site because of risks associated with their removal. The body of Anthony Magrette was recovered in the days after the collapse.

By: WDSU Digital Team

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