Stubborn structure finally demolished for 'Midtown Tampa' project

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A building in Tampa that was supposed to be torn down Sunday was finally brought down Tuesday after days of demolition attempts. 

The five-story structure was planned to be demolished in a quick, 30-second process by contracting company Barr & Barr, making way for the multi-million dollar "Midtown Tampa" project, focused on linking downtown Tampa to the city’s booming Westshore area. The plan is to have 22 acres of residential, retail and entertainment space. 

The demolition plan was to use excavators attached to cables that ran from the top of the building -- located at Dale Mabry Boulevard and Cypress Street -- downward, to essentially pull down the building. But the cables snapped each time and the building remained up for two more days.

Typically, the process is used for concrete structures, and the former office building is made of steel.

On Tuesday, crews tried again and by late morning, a corner of the building finally collapsed. 

Early Tuesday evening, their efforts were finally successful.

Explosives were not an option because the building was too close to the Men's Warehouse store. 

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Fred Hames with Barr & Barr said Sunday, the core of the building was what held out. Crews also tried a blow torch to weaken the structure.

"The demolition was engineered to do what we call trip the building. We took out certain intermediate columns within the building to cut those columns then we just basically pull it over. It’s a very simple process," he said. "So what happened is basically I think the weight of the building is holding the core intact because we’re keeping certain columns intact."