The owner and builder of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel structure missed a crucial payment which lead to the delay of the demolition of two damaged construction cranes.
WWL-TV, accessing public records, found that the construction group headed by Mohan Kailas was required to make a full payment of $5-million into a trust to the demolition partners to proceed with blowing up the cranes and removing the danger of them falling onto and significantly damaging any number of landmark structures around the site.
The companies involved in the demolition include Greensboro, N.C.-based D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. and Lemoine Disaster Recovery of Lafayette. The team was officially hired by the State of Louisiana and bypassed the bidding process thanks to an emergency declaration signed by Governor John Bel Edwards.
The contract was negotiated was supposed to go into effect on Friday with payment made immediately by the developer by wire transfer. However, the money for the contract didn't hit the trust account until Saturday morning.
“It is important to note that while the state signed the contract, the entire cost, which had been paid in advance of the work, is being paid by the owner and the owner’s insurers,” Shauna Sanford, a spokeswoman for Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
According to story, shortly after the payment was paid, an announcement to delay the demolition was made by Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOFD Superintendent Timothy McConnell.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson developer Mohan Kailas and the 1031 Canal Development LLC, confirmed the money was paid Saturday morning, and said the delays had nothing to do with the payment.