ST. PETERSBURG — The holdup in demolition of the inverted pyramid could soon be over.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that it could issue a permit to tear down the 1973 structure as early as next week.
It has been nearly a month since the City Council approved $5.2 million for initial work on a replacement project — Pier Park — and a construction fence went up to signal imminent demolition.
But demolition plans were brought to an abrupt and embarrassing halt when the corps said St. Petersburg needed its permission to tear down the entire structure because it spans a body of water. That contradicted the city's assessment that it did not need a permit from the agency to get rid of the iconic pyramid that had been designed by acclaimed architect William B. Harvard Sr.
Additionally, a permit could not be issued before a memorandum of agreement of historic preservation had been signed by the corps, the city and the state historic preservation office. On Thursday, corps spokeswoman Jenn Miller said that process is now complete.
"We are currently working to finalize the permit decision document and the permit," she said in an email.
"In terms of process, once the city receives and signs the permit, it will need to be returned to the Corps for counter-signature in order to finalize the permit. We anticipate having these final steps completed by early next week."
Demolition is expected to take six months.
Contact Waveney Ann Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.