Deutsche Bank Demo to Resume; JPMorgan Still Hopes for Platinum Beer Belly Building to Rise at 5 WTC by September

Demolition of the Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street is set to resume and JPMorgan Chases’s LEED Platinum headquarters are set to take its place.

On Tuesday, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (“LMDC”) announced that it reached an agreement with its construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease, to hire a new subcontractor that will complete demolition efforts at the former Deutsche Bank Building on 130 Liberty Street. Work at the site has stalled for close to five months now in the aftermath of an August 18 construction fire on the project. LVI Services, Inc. will replace the John Galt Corporation (which was kicked off the job after evidence surfaced that smoking by its workers caused the fire) and first remove asbestos from the remaining 26 stories of the tower before razing it. The deal between Bovis and the LMDC came after a few testy weeks where the LMDC sent a notice of default to Bovis and came close to terminating the construction manager.

These developments are important to note because, as you may recall, KPF’s much-maligned design for the LEED Platinum Beer Belly Building, which will serve as JPMorgan Chase’s new headquarters, is set to rise at the site, provided that the Port Authority is able to turn it over to the bank by this coming September. (KPF is currently working on addressing some of the criticisms of its design). According to the Times, the non-binding agreement that JPMorgan reached with the agency last June also includes a six month extension provision for delivery of the land. The cost of the demolition has bulged from an initial estimate of $50 million back in 2005 to at least $150 million (though two insurance companies are responsible for paying 75 percent of the costs above $50 million). Sustainability remains central to the new designs for the former World Trade Center site, but it’s already clear that it will not be completely smooth sailing for the redevelopment here in 2008.

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