Contractor says implosion on track, will be safe

WEST PALM BEACH- Counting down to destruction.

There are less than two days now until the planned implosion of 1515 Tower, near downtown West Palm Beach.  The 30-story condo, wracked by hurricanes in 2004, has been a blight on the neighborhood for years.

While nearby residents are glad the structure is finally coming down, they're also uneasy about explosives doing the job  so close to their own buildings.

"Sure, it's unnerving because there's always a chance something could happen," said Walter Kallenback, whose unit in the Norton Park Place condo building is about 100 feet from 1515 Tower.

While he's a bit nervous, Kallenback also said he has faith in the crew doing the implosion.  "I don't really have any concerns," said Kallenback.  "I think these people are probably pretty professional."

"We know we have these proximities and concerned neighbors," said Lisa Kelly of Advanced Explosives Demolition, the family-run Idaho company in charge of the implosion.  "We would treat them as if they were our own family.  At this point we do not see any reason for alarm."

Kelly said the implosion process is calculated to take advantage of gravity.  "The whole goal of this is to put the building down, on itself, inside its original footprint," she said.
Kelly also indicated her crews were on schedule to proceed with the implosion Sunday at 9 a.m.  She asked the public to respect the closure of the area within 750 feet of the tower.

"Allow us to do our job by respecting that," said Kelly.  "And everything will go smoothly."