Atlanta-based Hardin Construction was back in the hot seat Monday with the caving of a Midtown garage, just days after being fined for the December collapse of a bridge at the Atlanta Botanical Garden that killed one person and injured 18.
Hardin was the builder of the Centergy parking garage that collapsed Monday at Technology Square, a sprawling campus of offices, shops and a conference center in Midtown.
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Cars sit in a jumble on the bottom floors of the Centergy parking deck at Abercrombie Place and Spring Street.
Police said an initial search of the property found no injuries, but officials planned to make another sweep this evening.
Hardin spokeswoman Barkley Russell, in an e-mailed statement, said the company was the construction manager on the entire Centergy project.
She directed reporters to Metromont Corporation, which she said designed, fabricated and erected the garage. Metromont was “chosen because of their expertise in precast/prestressed concrete building systems,” she said.
“To put this incident in perspective there are 1,415 spaces in this deck,” Russell said. “One section was involved, and it is estimated that approximately 35 spaces were affected.
“We are just thankful at this point there are no reports of injuries,” she said.
Hardin was one of three companies fined $26,250 in the Botanical Garden bridge collapse. Hardin was fined $6,300 for fault with four towers designed to support the walkway.
Hardin officials have said they plan to appeal the fines.
City officials said Monday the parking deck did not have any violations recorded by the city’s Bureau of Buildings and had not been examined since its original inspections in 2001 and 2002.
“The parking deck had no history of code complaints,” said Catherine Woodling, a spokeswoman for Mayor Shirley Franklin.
According to building permits, the structure is owned by Atlantic Capital Properties and the architect was Atlanta-based Smallwood Reynolds Stewart.
The garage cost an estimated $17.2 million to build, according to documents.
A building permit was issued for the deck in December 2001 and a revised permit issued in August 2002 for its entrance, Woodling said. Inspections were done both times and no problems were found.
“No further inspections are usually done on properties after they have been issued a certificate of occupancy,” said Woodling, who added this is common practice for the city.
She said only a complaint would have brought out inspectors.
Georgia Tech spokesman Matt Nagel said about 135 spaces are leased to the college’s employees, though the garage is not on Tech’s campus. The school on Monday advised employees who park there “that alternate transportation will be needed until city inspectors declare that it will be safe to remove their vehicles.”