NEW ORLEANS — The long-awaited demolition of the collapsed Hard Rock hotel construction site will have to wait until attorneys suing the developer are satisfied that enough evidence has been gathered.
That's according to the collapsed construction site's developer and owner, 1031 Canal Street Development LLC.
"There is an injunction prohibiting work on the Hard Rock Hotel demolition until court approval of an evidentiary protocol," the statement said. "This process has to be approved by plaintiff attorneys and other interested parties before being submitted and approved by the court. Only after this may demolition begin."
The developers also noted that the cause of the collapse is still under investigation and "there has been no determination of fault."
Last week, New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell updated the timeline for demolition, saying the most recent plans submitted to the city by 1031 Canal Development LLC say the building won't be down until the end of the year.
"The City has made it clear to the ownership that they are unhappy with the timeline," McConnell said in New Orleans City Hall Friday. "The mark was missed, it's more than doubled the timeline."
He stressed it's the responsibility of Canal Development to demolish the structure.
"They caused it, it’s their job to fix this thing," McConnell said. "It is their responsibility to do this, the plan they have submitted is the plan going forward and we have asked them to shorten it."
The developers said that they have "no influence" over the engineering design for stabilization and demolition.
"The City’s contractor and engineering firm are working hand in hand with our contractor and engineer, and together they are determining the path forward," 1031 Canal Street Development LLC said.
The unfinished hotel at the corner of Canal and Rampart streets partially collapsed Oct. 12, 2019, killing three people and injuring dozens more. The bodies of two workers, 63-year-old Jose Ponce Arreola and 36-year-old Quinnyon Wimberly, are trapped inside and can not be recovered safely ahead of the planned demolition.