TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The six-story CapTrust building on the Southwest corner of Ashley Drive and Whiting Street began coming down on Wednesday.
The demolition of the office building in Tampa's busy downtown district will make way for a new residential high-rise along the edge of the Tampa Riverwalk.
Beginning around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, demolition crews used a wrecking ball to begin taking down the building. The project has shut down portions of South Ashley Drive and East Whiting Streets until early November.
"We understand this will impact traffic downtown, and we appreciate everyone's patience as we work as quickly and safely as possible," said project spokesperson Richard Mullins.
A portion of South Ashley Drive between East Jackson Street and Channelside Drive was closed beginning September 24. A portion of East Whiting Street between South Tampa Street and South Ashley Drive was also shut down. Additionally, the Tampa Riverwalk between East Whiting Street and West Platt Street is closed during the project.
"These are going to be ongoing traffic issues; there's construction all over Tampa," said Vik Bhide, the city's smart mobility manager.
Southbound Ashley Drive traffic is being rerouted east onto Whiting Street and then to Tampa Street to proceed south. Northbound Ashley Drive traffic will be routed one block east to Franklin Street to proceed north. Pedestrians on the Riverwalk will be similarly re-routed during weekdays, though the Riverwalk may be opened nights and weekends when safety allows.
"Temporarily along the Riverwalk, around the demo area, will have closures, which means parts of the Riverwalk will be available, depending on the hours."
In a March 2019 news release, developers for Riverwalk Place at 102 West Whiting St. boasted that, when completed, the downtown condo would rank as the tallest building on Florida's west coast. The building will be more than 50 stories tall, with nearly 300 units ranging from $600,000 to $2.5 million, with penthouses priced even higher.
And it's also happening across the river. Traffic on West Cass and North Boulevard has been re-routed for over a month, causing backups on North Boulevard.
"Those closures are intermittent closures, related to the new AER for the Arts Tower," Bhide said. "It's going to be another big development on the Riverwalk with all kinds of retail and other facilities."
Though the longer commutes can be frustrating, Bhide says, it's a good problem to have.
"It shows we're growing and exciting things are happening right behind us. We're going to have a really great development that's going to bring the community together around the Riverwalk."
LINK: For more information on Riverwalk Place, head over to their website