While the economy craters at the hands of a microscopic force, a different, more visible sort of implosion is set to take place May 30 on a particular block of downtown Richmond.
That’s the date that’s been set for the implosion of Dominion Energy’s One James River Plaza office tower at 701 E. Cary St.
Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier confirmed the date, adding that the company has notified the city and its neighbors within the expected perimeter “exclusion zone.”
“We’re still finalizing the exclusion zone, but visualize a full block in any direction,” Frazier said in an email this week.
Razing the 21-story, 1970s-era building is made possible by the completion last year of 600 Canal Place, the company’s glassy 20-story, 1-million-square-foot tower at 600 E. Canal St.
It is now occupied by more than 1,000 Dominion employees, including some that had worked in One James.
Frazier did not name the company that’s handling the implosion.
Demolition and implosion-prep work already has begun around the base of the 21-story, 1970s-era building.
Construction companies Hourigan and Clayco – the two companies that built 600 Canal – and D.H. Griffin are managing the current demolition process and the cleanup that will follow once the tower comes down.
Dominion still won’t say what will become of the site once the building is toppled.
The company previously announced and filed plans with the city for a second tower, dubbed 700 Canal Place, with a design that would mirror 600 Canal, albeit slightly shorter. It would rise 17 stories and hold more than 900,000 square feet. The two towers would be connected via a sky bridge over South Seventh Street.
Plans show Hourigan and Clayco as the general contractors for the second tower. Houston-based architecture firm Kendall/Heaton Associates has been selected as the architect of record, and the Timmons Group is the civil engineer, plans show.
The process of demolition and subsequent cleanup would take about a year. Should the company then decide to build anew onsite, Frazier previously said that new tower would be expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
But for now, while onlookers wonder whether social distancing might prevent implosion watch parties come May, Frazier said Dominion still is evaluating a potential second tower.
“We are still assessing our downtown workplace needs,” he said.