Developers of collapsed building initially sought implosion, records show

Miami Beach denied request, but approved standard demolition

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The plan was to tear down the Marlborough House building on Collins Avenue and put up a modern ocean front tower in its place. 

Last year the project's developers, Miami Beach Associates LLC initially requested a permit for demolition by implosion -- something Miami Beach officials said they no longer allow. 

“They had been denied so it was standard demolition that was supposed to be taking place. They had a standard demolition permit," Miami Beach Building Director Ana Salgueiro said.

According to city records of the permitting process, the company changed their request to a conventional demolition in November and were approved. According to notices posted at neighboring condo building, the demolition work was scheduled to begin Monday. 

At Miami Beach Associates' office in Brickell, an employee disputed that the building was scheduled for a gradual demolition.

“No it didn't collapse. This was how it was supposed to happen," a woman at Miami Beach Associates told Local 10.

The woman referred all others questions about the incident to Winmar Construction.

But several people familiar with the project told Local 10 that sudden demolition is not how it was supposed to go. 

"Demolition was conducted by Winmar's subcontractor, Allied Bean Demolition, who was responsible for performing all of the project's demolition work," Winmar President Luis Leon said in a statement. “We are working closely with city officials and industry agencies to understand what happened during Allied's demolition of the structure."

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.