The demolition of the structures on the former Radisson Hotel site will begin Jan. 10 in order to make way for the new Marriott Vacation Club.
Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) purchased the Radisson property this summer and will convert the hotel rooms and suites into timeshare-like ownership units.
Vinnie Grasser, the development manager for Marriott Ownership Resort, Inc., and William Rose, regional manager of D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company, Inc. of Tampa, presented the demolition plan Wednesday at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort. Several executives of the Hilton and Marco Island city staff attended the briefing and question and answer session.
Mac Chaudhry, general manager of the Hilton, said that he was pleased with the plan.
“The good part is that they are providing us the contact person in case there is an issue with the noise,” he said. “We can discuss it with them and talk about it. That’s the good part.”
The Marco Island City Council approved an ordinance to amend the Land Development Code and the Residential Tourist (RT) Zoning District to establish a new conditional use for hotel along the west side of South Collier Boulevard. The amendment allows for the conversion of the Radisson’s hotel units and for the south tower to be increased to 150 feet in height from base flood elevation to the mid-point of the roof. The present structure is 125 feet. MVCI originally wanted to build the new south tower to 200 feet.
A stipulation in the ordinance requires that at least seven percent of room nights in the facility be available for rental to the general public over the course of each year.
Grasser and Rose presented a drawing of the demolition plan, which showed the site as it exists today and a ghosted overlay of proposed buildings that would coincide with the phasing schedule of demolition and construction of the new property.
Interior demolition will start Jan. 10. Equipment will operate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. until noon Saturdays.
The beach tower facing the Charter Club and the north tower facing the Hilton will be gutted down to a concrete frame. The penthouse of the beach tower will be removed and another floor will be added within the height restrictions.
Rose said that there is non-friable mastic encased asbestos in the buildings located on the sinks and behind the bathroom mirrors. He added there is no friable asbestos.
“From a removal standpoint, we won’t use any means that will make the material friable,” he said. “We will remove the sinks whole and discard them whole. Where the little mastic dots are, we will cut that Sheetrock out and remove the dots and discard that as well.”
Grasser said the existing parking garage and front tower facing the road will be completely demolished.
“The south tower gets demolished to the fourth level and will become a two-level sales center.”
The last two bays of the north and pool towers will also be completely demolished.
Rose said that the demolition plan will minimize the amount of nuisance to the area.
“We’re not going to be out there with a crane and a ball beating a building down,” he said. “We’re actually taking it down mechanically floor by floor.”
Workman will spray water during the demolition to minimize the amount of dust.
Once the south tower is down to 40 feet, a large PC-400 excavator will begin “munching” the building down, according to Rose.
The debris will be removed by five tractor trailer trucks about three times each day, according to Jerry Hughes, manager of the wrecking company.
Because of bridge weight restrictions, the route taken by the trucks will either be down Winterberry Drive and north on Landmark Street and east on San Marco, or Winterberry and north on Heathwood Drive to San Marco.
Marco Island Community Development Director Steve Olmsted noted that the plans for the construction of the Marriott Vacation Club have not been submitted formerly to the Marco Island Planning Board and city council.
The project will be constructed in phases with construction of the sales center set to begin March 1. The center is scheduled to be open by Oct. 1.
“They have to be on-site physically to sell and construct and demolish,” said Bryan Milk, Marco Island city planner.
“The exterior of the complete buildings will be three phases over approximately five to six years,” said Grasser.
The first phase will begin later this year. The north tower facing the Hilton will begin renovation later this year or in early 2008, according to Grasser.
As the contractor is remodeling the tower, a new south tower and parking deck will be constructed where the old parking deck currently stands.
A new entrance, similar to the Marriott Resort, will be constructed — with a water fountain coming down to the street level of Collier Boulevard.
Grasser said that the next phase, constructing the front tower and parking garage, will begin around the fall of 2008. He added that a two-story L-shaped parking garage will be built underneath the tower. There will also be surface parking on each side of the project.
“We’ll be overlapping the towers and parking structures,” said Grasser.
The first phase of the towers will open around January 2009, according to Grasser. He added that the complete Marriott Vacation Club project will be finished in 2012.
Once the construction is completed, the property will look “unique to itself,” according to Milk. The architecture will compliment other buildings in the RT Zoning District.
“They can’t change it drastically because they have to be uniform in what to keep, remodel and design as new,” said Milk.
The architecture of the two towers will be contemporary.
“Nice and clean,” said Milk. “It’s modular in architecture. Modular in that it’s rectangular and uses clean and crisp lines and modern embellishments. But it takes into account what’s there, which is the old shell,’ referring to the U-shaped north and beach tower.