In Corpus Christi, Texas, the developer of the Parkdale Plaza began work on the redevelopment of the property this week. The first step of the project occurred on Monday, when workers began removing asbestos from the aging shopping center. Asbestos removal is a costly step that must be taken by law to protect workers and neighbors from the deleterious effects of asbestos. Inhaling asbestos fibers can prove deadly: the tiny fibers are linked to a host of medical conditions ranging from scarring of the lungs to lung cancer to the rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma has a latency period that can span decades, meaning that it can be many years between the initial exposure to asbestos particles and the development of mesothelioma symptoms.
Removing asbestos from the site is the first step towards demolishing the aging complex, which spans 41 acres. The site will undergo demo within the next 30 to 45 days. Richard Runde, vice president of Parkdale Plaza’s owner, Quick & Co., told reporters that work began this week to remove the debris left over from the fire that ravaged the site on June 22nd. The fire knocked out the electrical system, causing many of the businesses there to shut their doors.
The building was condemned last month after being inspected by the local fire department. Quick & Co. has been told that they had 30 days after the notice of condemnation to begin demolition. Some of the current tenants (like Autozone, Wendy’s and Guitar Center) will stay at their current location until a new place is built.