Deauville Beach Resort Hotel
In its heyday, the Deauville Beach Resort was a trendy symbol of South Florida, once hosting the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy. Built in 1957, the 192’ tall, 17-story hotel remained closed after an electrical fire in 2017 and an engineering report concluded that saving the structure was not feasible. In March of 2022, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge, reportedly swayed by the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside in June of 2021, issued a formal demolition order for the Deauville Hotel. (Note: CDI aided the City of Surfside by imploding the remaining standing portion of the Champlain Towers South on July 4, 2021, following its initial collapse.)
The Owner ultimately awarded environmental remediation and demolition of the complex to The BG Group, LLC (BG Group) of Delray Beach, Florida, who then, in turn, contracted Controlled Demolition, Inc. to perform the explosives felling of the 17-story high-rise portion of the hotel. CDI’s explosives demolition methods provided for a safer demolition operation on this structurally diminished, reinforced concrete building, as compared to top-down, floor-by-floor or ground-based high-reach or crane mechanical demolition methods. Those conventional demolition methods would subject slabs below to excessive buildup and surcharge from debris generated by demolition, above, creating a risk of progressive failure in this building which has already been declared structurally unsafe by a local structural engineer. Any unplanned progressive failure of this structure would have put workmen, motorists, and pedestrians on Collins Avenue to the west and the beach walk to the east of the tower at sudden and extreme risk. Implosion also reduced the duration and, as a result, the negative impact of noise, dust, and various other demolition hazards to the general public, residential and business properties adjacent to the project site on the north, south, and west as compared to far longer conventional demolition.
CDI’s crew mobilized to the site in September of 2022 and drilled/loaded a total of 1241 holes on seven (7) floors, using almost two (2) miles of detonating cord and approximately 750 lb. of explosives. Under CDI’s direction, BG Group crews placed fence and geotextile fabric at-source protection on elements being blasted, perimeter curtain protection around floors to be blasted as well as a Conex box wall along Collins Avenue to protect adjacent businesses against air blast during the felling of the structure. The reinforced concrete beach walk, just 6’ from the east end of the tower, was carefully protected with steel plate and sand by BG Group per CDI’s design.
The morning of the implosion, Miami Beach Police and the Coast Guard secured land and ocean sides of the Exclusion Zone respectively. The Deauville was successfully imploded right on time at 8:00 AM and the structure collapsed in approximately nine (9) seconds following detonation, leaving a very low pile of well broken debris to facilitate safe and rapid removal by the BG Group. Following the successful implosion, businesses in Exclusion Zone were re-opened within the hour, Collins Avenue was fully reopened to vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic by 11:00 AM, and the beach walk was reopened by 4:00 PM. The post-demolition survey revealed no changes from pre-existing conditions to adjacent improvements to remain. Vibration and air overpressure created by CDI’s implosion plan was a fraction of limits allowed by local, State and federal regulations.