COCOA BEACH – The iconic Cocoa Beach building, the Glass Bank, is finally coming down.
City commissioners are expected to approve spending an additional $32,320 after Crusader Demolition found more asbestos than expected.
The construction company has spent most of December removing asbestos from the building, and collecting scrap metal, wood and concrete.
Built in the 1960s, the Glass Bank has been everything from a bank and gym to a restaurant that hosted astronauts and celebrities.
But a legal dispute between the owners of the building left the icon in disrepair in recent years, becoming a safety and health hazard.
The city finally agreed to pick up the tab for demolition, $145,000 dollars, so long as the owners would pay the city back.
“I know us locals probably drive by it every day and don’t really notice it,” said Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom. “But I can’t imagine for the visitors that come here, or the people that occasionally visit, it must really stick out like a sore thumb and so I think it’s going to help set the stage for rebuilding Cocoa Beach in a good way.”
The building has been quite controversial. The owner of the top suite killed himself after a judge ruled he’d have to pay for repairs.
Some residents say they are sad to see the building go.
“It has been a big part of Cocoa Beach’s history,” said resident Franklin Glass. “I can recall many, many years ago actually having dinner in the restaurant up there. It’s just a piece of Cocoa Beach that, well it’s kind of sad to see it go.”
In the next 10 days crews will remove each story, one at a time and by the end of January, it’s expected to just be an empty, grass lot.