FIFTH AND DOLORES DEMOLITION TO BEGIN
By MARY SCHLEY – AUGUST 18, 2017
CREWS will start tearing down the old shops and offices at the southwest corner of Dolores and Fifth next week to make way for a modern-style complex with businesses at street level, and condos and apartments above it. Designed by architect Erik Dyar for property owner Leidig/Draper, the project was approved by the planning commission in July 2016.
Nearby residents and business owners shouldn’t worry about a wrecking ball slamming into the walls, contractor Daniel Silverie said Thursday. To cause less disruption while ensuring as much as possible of the wood and other materials can be salvaged and used elsewhere, “a lot of the demolition is going to be done by hand with a lot of crew,” he said. Heavy equipment will then be brought in to carry the wreckage away.
Silverie, son of builder Dan Silverie, has worked for decades in the business, making his way from carpenter to general contractor. He’s spent a lot of time working on projects in town — including the Trevvett Court demolition and rebuild the Silveries did for The Carmel Foundation in 2010 — and is putting a lot of thought into the logistics of undertaking such a complicated project.
Given its location at a busy downtown intersection across from the post office, and adjacent to another senior housing complex owned and run by The Carmel Foundation, “our first priority is public safety,” he said. “These are our neighbors, these are our friends.”
Hurricane fence will be placed around the site 8 feet from the curb on the Fifth Avenue and Dolores Street sides. The barricades will block six parking spaces and keep people off the sidewalks for the next 15 to 18 months, but they’re necessary to protect them from equipment and debris.
Another local firm with a long history here, Randazzo, a demolition contractor, will handle the teardown, which will be done in two phases. “Once we get most of the demolition done, we’re going to stop and evaluate where we are with the foundations,” in the underground parking garage, Silverie said. They’ll examine how much of the walls and other supports there will need to be torn out, and determine the best way to remove and replace them.
Because that new shoring will also have to support the Haseltine Court complex to the west, and all the cable and other utilities in the streets on each side, he said, a lot of planning and care have to go into building it. If something goes wrong, the neighborhood could lose internet and phone service, for example.
“Not too many people want to take the risk of doing this, but I feel pretty confident,” he said.
Silverie and some of his crew met with new building official Dick Bower, public works director Robert Harary and planning director Marc Wiener to talk about the project, and the need to get under way as soon as possible.
While the city generally doesn’t allow a contractor to obtain a demolition permit without a building permit, Wiener confirmed Thursday that he granted temporary permits for the teardown and the encroachment of the fencing into the street so Silverie could start work. The city council will consider the longer-term permits — and the related fees — at its Sept. 12 meeting, he said.
“The council will discuss it because we have a daily fee for parking spaces of $31,” he explained. For six spaces, the daily rate would be $186. “So, over more than a year, it would get pretty pricey. We want the council to discuss the fees and determine what’s appropriate for this project.”
Not wanting to hang it up, however, Wiener agreed to grant temporary permits.
“We’re going to issue the permit for the three weeks leading up to the council meeting, so they can get started,” he said, adding that Silverie “seems to do a lot of the commercial projects in town, so he’s sensitive to the issues.”