Demolition to make way for new Tampa development

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The first phase of the multimillion-dollar Midtown Tampa project began Sunday as crews started to demolish an old office building at the corner of Interstate 275 and North Dale Mabry Boulevard. 

The project is billed as a link between downtown Tampa and the city’s booming Westshore area.

Today's demolition was supposed to be a milestone for the project, instead it turned out to be a temporary road block. 

The plan for the five-story office space was supposed to be take it down in 30 seconds, but hours later, it still stood.

Cables ran from the top floor of the building to each excavator, the idea being to pull the building down. That too did not work.

Juanita Craft was waiting for over an hour to see the tear-down. She used to take classes in the building.

"It used to be a Sanford Brown building, so I used to go to school here," she said. "It’s weird to see them tearing down something you used to walk in."

Multiple cable breaks later, the building continued to put up a fight. 

Fred Hames with Barr and Barr Construction says it seems as if the weight of the building is keeping its core intact. Crews tried using other tactics to crack it. 
"The blow torch was to get another strategic cut in the column to see if we could weaken the structure in the specific areas we were looking to the other elements with the jackhammer, we were testing the column to see if it re-welded," Hames said. "And that’s what happened. Those columns should have moved against each other, but they didn’t, they held fast."

When completed, Midtown Tampa will boast 22 acres of residential, retail, and entertainment space.