Irma damage forces demolition of $2.5 million renovation project

- Even though Hurricane Irma blew through weeks ago, we are still learning the extent of the damage she caused.

No one knows that better than Catapult Lakeland, an incubator for budding businesses.

The company just learned that the building where it was scheduled to move within a year was torn down.

"It is devastating,” the executive director, Meg Bellamy told FOX 13.

Catapult has spent the last two years and $2.5 million renovating the old Lakeland Cash Feed Store. It's a quirky 100-year-old-old structure.

The plan was to turn it into a trendy space where young businesses could be nurtured and launched.

When Irma first hit, the thinking was that the damage could be repaired. But recently, it became clear that the building would have to be demolished.

“There has been other hurricane and wind events that it has been through, so I think it really came a shock, that the building just didn’t make it through the hurricane,” said Bellamy.

The storm is forcing Catapult to go back to square one.

“We’re really not sure where we’re going to go from here,” said Bellamy.

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