Skip to main content
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010 7 years ago

Repair work continues one year later at Five Points

by: Robin Roy City Editor

It’s been a year since a piece of stucco broke loose from the Plaza at Five Points building and struck a woman in the head. The repair work has been ongoing and may not be completed for another four months.

“It’s been a very time-consuming repair project,” said Mark Hudson, Kraft Construction senior vice president.

Hudson said within 30 minutes of hearing about the March 28, 2009, accident, his company was on site, examining the building.

Because the victim, Shirley Holmes, of East Manatee, is suing, Hudson wouldn’t say exactly what happened to cause the stucco to detach. She was released from the hospital three days after the incident.

After the accident, the city asked Kraft to conduct a full survey of the building, which is home to 50 residential units and about a dozen businesses, to see if there were other problems.

Hudson said it took a couple of months to determine what had happened; another couple of months to find qualified architects and engineers who could do the repairs; and another few months to have the city and the building’s homeowners association, business owners association and master association approve the repair plans.

Andy Dorr, a member of the Plaza at Five Points board of directors, said he believed about 40% of the building’s stucco needed to be replaced, but Hudson said he wasn’t sure of an exact percentage, but he felt 40% was a little high.

“It’s very frustrating, but it was an honest mistake,” said Dorr. “Nobody wanted this to happen.”

Work began October 1, 2009, but a time-consuming work process and complications along the way have caused more delays.

“We searched for any loose material and took off anything that was suspect,” Hudson said. “We put up debris nets to ensure public safety.”

Kraft had 70 different “drops” on the building, where the scaffolding had to be completely redone.

Then the cold weather arrived.

Stucco cannot be applied when the temperature dips below 45 degrees.

“We were expecting perfect weather for this,” said Robert Johnson, Kraft superintendent. “If the temperature hits 45, it has to be above 45 for 72 hours before we can continue.”

The unseasonably cool temperatures this winter didn’t allow for many stretches of three straight days and nights of temperatures above 45 degrees.

“We had so many days that it would dip down, and we’d have to start the three-day countdown over again,” said Johnson.

On some of the days that it warmed up, it rained, which also prevents stucco work.

Kraft is now focusing on completing the Main Street and Central Avenue sides of the building, because that’s where most of the pedestrian traffic is. (See box for schedule.)

At least one of the business owners on Main Street is frustrated with the progress.

“It’s been awful,” said Carlo Piras, owner of Café Americano, which sits directly under the debris nets along Main Street.

Piras said he’s hopeful the work will end soon, but he’s not optimistic.

“Nobody knows,” he said.

Hudson said he’s sympathetic.

“It’s very unfortunate that this would happen and someone got hurt,” said Hudson. “We did not run away from this, and we’re committed to making sure all of our buildings are done right.”

Property Manager John Vetri said he’s happy with the builder’s response.

“I’m displeased with the weather,” he said. “But Kraft is doing everything it can.”

Said Dorr: “I feel bad for the (victim). I feel bad for the commercial businesses. I feel bad for the residents. And I feel bad for the city. We’re being very meticulous and careful.”

Repair Schedule

Area Estimated completion
Main Street side End of April
Central Avenue side Mid-June
First Street side End of June
East side Mid-August

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

Related Stories