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Work to demolish Glass Bank could start next month

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COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Work to demolish the dilapidated Glass Bank building in Cocoa Beach could start as early as next month, according to the contractor selected for the project.

The city commission voted unanimously Monday to negotiate a contract with Lakeland-based Crusader Demolition, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.

Commissioner Ben Malik was relieved that long the process of removing the Glass Bank had reached another milestone without hurricane-force winds tearing the 1960s-era building apart.

"We moved off of 14 years of nothing happening in this situation," Malik said. "We are so fortunate that we haven't had a storm this year."

Crusader Demolition was one of eight companies to bid on the project, offering to destroy the Glass Bank in 50 days for $145,300.

John Valois, vice president and senior project manager for Crusader Demolition, said he didn't expect the project to start before the end of October.

The next step is for city staff to negotiate a contract for the city commission to approve before to work can proceed.

Joseph Yosifon, who heads one of the Glass Bank ownership groups, expressed concern at the meeting Monday that the project would unnecessarily encroach on the surrounding parking lot.

City manager Bob Majka said the issue of the parking lot would be explored during contract negotiations.

Demolition work, which is estimated to take 50 days, can't proceed until a "notice to proceed" is agreed upon by the city and two Glass Bank ownership groups.

"We are certainly concerned about what portions of that parking lot are used by others and what legal agreements might to be in place," Majka said.

The two ownership groups agreed earlier this year to allow demolition and pay back the city with the proceeds from the sale of the property.

The contractor, which has only been given access to the perimeter of the building and reports from the city, will have to go inside to determine the extent of hazardous materials before residents witness the demolition.

"They won't see the structure come down for some time," Valois said. "There is some asbestos abatement that needs to be performed and also further investigation into asbestos material that wasn't surveyed in the initial sampling."

After than, it will take about 20 days tear down the Glass Bank building, according to the contractor.

"It will come down floor by floor," Valois said. "We have a high-reach excavator that will take sections and components down one at a time."