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Ocean Tower Spi


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From the Alicia Donohue website link above:

By Macsdad @ Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:49 AM

Construction on this project has halted as of Thursday, June 12, 2008.

Unofficial, local reports are that this tower will be torn down due to the irreparable sinking and separation from the parking garage structure.

What a disaster.

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Here's the realtor's story. (from her website above) Hope she's right:

By AliceDonahue.com News @ Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:26 PM

Construction is temporarily halted at Ocean Tower condos.

Developers hope to resolve the situation and resume construction in just a few days.

They say sinking is not un-heard of for buildings being built so close to the ocean.

We see this as a great opportunity to get a bargain right now on what will become the finest quality built tower - in the best location - on South Padre Island.

The views and amenities are unmatched, and the units are the some of the largest on the Island. A rare opportunity to take advantage of the insurance and investment companies losses and their desire to regain momentum.

Anchoring a skyscraper like ocean tower is done by driving long concrete and steel piles down through the sand into the underlying ground surface. The friction between sand and so much concrete and steel is sufficient to hold the foundation above in place.

The added weight of attaching the garage and Olympic size pool to the tower simply created to much shear weight to one side. The solution will involve separating the two structures, so that they independently stand on their own pilings.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Let the fun begin:



Comments 1 | Recommend 0

July 10, 2008 - 5:40PM

Island Breeze

The developers of the Ocean Tower condominiums on South Padre Island have filed suit in Cameron County, claiming fraud on behalf of three firms involved with the engineering and construction of the high-rise building.

Construction on Ocean Tower was halted last month after cracks were discovered where the parking garage was attached to the main tower.


The current settling is the result of the general contractor's having completed the "topping out" of the building despite obvious measurement deviations beginning on the 7th floor, which should have alerted a contractor of the experience which Zachry claimed. Instead, the contractor completed 24 more imperfect floors in order to earn millions of more dollars in draws.

The present settlement chart is shown below:

Settlement of the structure (tower and parking garage) has occurred, and is continuing to occur, primarily due to consolidation of the Layer 4 soils as a result of structure loads being distributed to this layer. Measured total settlements to date are as follows:

Beneath tower core: 14 to 16 inches.

Beneath tower exterior: 8 to 14 inches.

Beneath west parking garage: 4 to 8 inches.

Beneath east parking garage: 1 to 2 inches.

These are present measurements, and if construction continues, will be increased.

In order to return the building to its proper design and function, the parking garage will need to be detached, and the foundation will need to be reinforced with micro piers of 200 feet in length through the expandable clay stratum into the solid stratum below. This will make the building completely stable and safe, and will allow the building to be completed in a quality manner.

However - the repairs in question will add 20 to 25 millions dollars to the cost of construction, and will delay the project for from 6 to 9 months. In addition, the negative publicity and economic damage to the project is expected to reach 100 million dollars.

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the repairs in question will add 20 to 25 millions dollars to the cost of construction

holy cow that's a lot. Hopefully the money from the suit will cover it.

One of the worst things that can possibly happen to a condo project is for long delays to occur. Presumably there had been a number of pre-sales. About 30% to 50% is the norm. If they don't deliver units on time, they default on the contract and buyers back out in droves with a full refund on their deposit. Then the developer has to replace all those buyers...which is made all the more difficult by the fact that consumers lack confidence in the sustainablity of unit prices. The developer, now financially distressed and facing foreclosure, becomes tempted to do crazy ____ like lease out units as apartments or to tourists...anything to generate cash flow. The few unfortunate buyers don't yet control the HOA and become very pissed off that the developer would so brazenly change the bylaws on them.

$20 to $25 million is the tip of the iceberg.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...
South Padre's 'leaning tower' to be demolished

By Lynn Brezosky - Express-News

BROWNSVILLE — The company that imploded the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, the Seattle Kingdome and the RCA Dome in Indianapolis has been hired to demolish Ocean Tower, an unfinished condominium tower that has been sinking into the sands of South Padre Island.

The 31-story building, since dubbed the “Leaning Tower of Padre,” is now the subject of a $125 million lawsuit against Raba-Kistner Consultants Inc. of San Antonio and Datum Engineering of Austin.

Demolition is set for November...


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  • 2 months later...
Leaning Island condos to come down later this month

December 03, 2009 4:28 PM

By CARL PHILLIPS, Island Breeze

The explosives are on the way and the Ocean Tower could come tumbling down as early as Dec. 12.

"We’re ready for the explosion," Mark Luisso of Controlled Demolitions Inc. told the South Padre Board of Aldermen this week. "We’ve done this all over the world with no serious accidents."




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Ocean Tower demo set for Sunday

December 09, 2009 4:12 PM

Carl Phillips/Island Breeze

The long anticipated date for the implosion of Ocean Tower has been set for Sunday, Dec. 13th at approximately 9 a.m., according to a Town of South Padre Island press release.


Officials recognize that this event is one of significance due to the tower being the largest concrete building ever imploded throughout the world. A large number of spectators are expected and security measures are planned.


Padre Boulevard will be closed both north and south of the site Sunday morning at 7 a.m. and will reopen following the demolition when deemed appropriate by the Texas Department of Transportation. There will no unauthorized traffic allowed inside the quarantined area after 7 a.m. until authorities have ensured travel will be safe.

The date is subject to change if unforeseen weather changes make conditions unsafe for the implosion.


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I cant find it on googlemaps... anyone know?

It's hard to spot. It's just north of Andy Bowie Park on the gulf. If you go to street view on Ocean Drive, go out as far north as you can (with the little yellow man)..........about to the convention center and pan north. You can see it out there all alone...kinda creepy looking.

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