In late January, as construction crews were performing work to brace the portions of the former Great Southern Hotel to be preserved, the crews and on-site engineers observed issues with the structural integrity of the building, and notified the City of these concerns. The City’s Building Division reviewed reports from four different engineers and field inspections. The preponderance of evidence found significant deterioration of the structure or structural parts making the building unsafe per section 188.8.131.52.2 of the Florida Building Code. Due to the determination that the historic north and west facades of the former hotel were unsafe and posed a significant threat to public safety, a modification of the existing demolition permit was issued this morning and demolition of the unsafe structure was completed earlier this afternoon.
The City consulted with an Engineering firm that inspected the building, interviewed on-site construction contractors, reviewed all prior engineering reports and conducted strength testing of the building’s structural components. The concrete masonry of the former hotel was found to be in disrepair with core drilling tests yielding compression rates of 1320 to 1580 PSI. For commercial structures, 3000 PSI is the minimum requirement. The level of deterioration necessitated immediate attention to address a severe life safety hazard. The perimeter of the construction site was secured to allow for the demolition of the remaining structure.
In 2012, the City of Hollywood approved plans for the redevelopment of the site of the former Great Southern Hotel at the southwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Young Circle. The redevelopment plan is for a 19-story, mixed-use development with 166 upscale residential units and a 103 room hotel along with a restaurant and approximately 9,793 SF of retail and office space. The approved plans preserved and incorporated the north and west facades of the former Great Southern Hotel, originally constructed in the 1920s, as well as some interior features.
The development team has informed the City that they are committed to reconstructing the historical elements previously planned to be preserved as shown in the approved designs. They have also worked to save elements from the original construction with the goal of incorporating them into the new building where feasible.