Hutch property demolition nears

Ever Rubio helps gather equipment in preparation of the Hutch property demolition.

Complete Demolition Services LLC began preparing the old Hutch property for demolition Monday by mobilizing equipment and conducting standard erosion control procedures.

Clearing the waterfront property has been a talking point for Loudon City Council for many months, and the upcoming demolition will be the next step in making discussion become reality.

At the July 8 Loudon Utilities Board meeting, Michael Brady Inc., approved Complete Demolition Services LLC as the lowest base bid for the demolition project.

Ty Ross, LUB manager, gave a rundown of the demolition group’s project timeline. On Monday, Complete Demolition mobilized to install erosion control measures. Ross hopes the demolition process begins this week.

Complete Demolition Services is taking an aggressive approach to complete the demolition in the contracted amount of time.

“The contract schedule is 180 days,” Ross said. “We’re not demolition experts. We didn’t know how long it would take. In our pre-construction conference with Complete Demolition Services, they said it was their intention to work weekends as well as weekdays. We’re anticipating it taking much less than 180 days. I can’t give you an exact day number because a lot of it is weather dependent.”

Loudon County Economic Development Agency Executive Director Jack Qualls noted the project is on track.

“Everything is going on target,” Qualls said. “We obviously have a lengthy timeline as far as we hope to complete it by around Christmas.”

EDA has installed a camera that takes time-lapse photos to capture the removal of the Hutch property. Qualls believes this can give future builders a look into the past.

“The camera that we have online is kind of a time-lapse camera,” he said. “It was a camera that EDA basically purchased to allow future projects. What we want to have as a finished project is to go back and have that time lapse of the buildings going down. The hopes are whatever goes back in place of these buildings at some point, we’ll be able to capture those images being constructed as well. So you really give back time of redevelopment for future generations to go back and review.”

A link to view the camera footage will be posted on the EDA website in the coming weeks.

Once the property is demolished and cleared, Ross believes a metaphorical shift will have taken place on the riverfront.

“The LUB contracted with partners for development advice and marketing, so the next step in the process would be to circle back to them now that we’ve cleared the table, so to speak,” he said. “The whole concept was to clear the table so we could turn around and set the table. What we set the table with next, in terms of what goes on the waterfront, what goes on the surrounding properties that blend into our downtown is the next opportunity. I think it’s an exciting opportunity to pursue. It’s the type of work we really enjoy doing.”