’Atlantis’ to Surface in Pensacola

Wed April 23, 2003 - Southeast Edition
Beverly B. Nichols

On the busy gulf-side parkway just over the Florida line from Alabama, passers-by can’t miss the tall Manitowoc crane that is there to hoist the concrete forms for a nine-story condominium, to be named “Atlantis,” which is currently under construction. According to Chris Lamb, superintendent of Trustmark South General Contractors, of Gulf Shores, the company that is building this condo, space has been the main challenge.

“We’re working on a lot that is only 100-feet wide and 120-feet deep. It’s banked on one side by a building and fenced-in on the other so our workers, building materials and equipment are confined to that area.”

Even so, Lamb continued the construction, which began in November, is on schedule and he intends to make the completion date of mid-August 2003.

“We’re working a seven-day week. We felt lucky to have Christmas day off,” Lamb asserted, adding that approximately 100 employees are available when needed at the construction site.

The condominium, designed by Henry Norris of Pensacola, will contain 16 units — two per floor with two stairways and two elevators. The ground level is a parking garage, and there also will be a Lifestyle Center with an outdoor pool, exercise room and sauna and steam rooms. The condo is located at 17357 Perdido Key Dr. The construction has been privately funded to the tune of $6 million. Necessary approvals were obtained from the city of Pensacola and Escambia County.

Before construction of the actual building could begin, approximately 13,500 cu. yds. (10,321 cu m) of dirt and sand had been excavated. The sand is piled up at the site for future use on the beach front. The excavating crew was headed by Don White, of White Land Service, Foley, AL.

ARD Contracting Inc., of Birmingham, AL, is the company entrusted with the concrete work. Supervisor for this operation is Dale Belcher.

According to Belcher, the building’s walls are reinforced by steel rods. Approximately 4,000 cu. yds. (3,058 cu m) of concrete will be poured into wood forms put in place by the crane. Some of the concrete has already been poured, also by the crane using two 3-yd. (2.7 m) concrete buckets. Sheer wall crane set forms and column forms also are in place.

Paving for the 70- by 70-ft. (21 by 21 m) parking garage will require 5,000 sq. ft. (465 sq m) of cement.

The difficulty of working at the small site is evident when one watches the crane in operation. Its operator, David Waller, and the other workers take care to move things smoothly around the site.

Equipment being used on this project other than the 175-ton (159 t) Manitowoc crane includes a Lull 644D-42 extended forklift; a Cat 318 Traco excavator; and a Cat bulldozer. The equipment was rented from Maxim Crane Co., Atlanta; the Rental Service Corp.; and Thompson Cat Rental/Sales, both of Pensacola.

To date, contracts for the inside finishing, such as electrical work and plumbing and for landscaping the site, have not been awarded.

As of now, the operation is focused on completing the foundation and, as the forms are put in place, pouring concrete for the condominium walls.

Both Trustmark South and ARD have completed other buildings in this area.