E-Mail Correspondence Before the Market Street Building Collapse
Here are excerpts of selected e-mails from and to representatives of STB Investments Corp. before the deadly June 5 Market Street collapse. The correspondence is shown as written, without correcting for errors.
Thomas Simmonds››Plato Marinakos, Alex Wolfington
Thomas J. Simmonds Jr., property manager for building owner STB Investments Corp., e-mails STB architect Plato A. Marinakos Jr. and STB real estate marketing consultant Alex Wolfington:
"Plato: Update please - will all buildings (2132, 2134, 2136-38) be down by 4/30/13 per our conversation last week? Any more photos? Will 2140 collapse since 2136-38 will be gone?"
Marinakos›› Simmonds, Wolfington
Marinakos replies to Simmonds and Wolfington:
"Sorry for the delay I have photos the building will be down by the end of the month. And the walls are stable and should be good .."
Simmonds e-mails Marinakos about the lack of demolition progress:
"Plato: Richard [Basciano, principal owner of STB Investments] and his wife passed by the above yesterday. He is SHOCKED that this project is not done. In your last e-mail you advised that all 3 properties would be down by " … the end of the month …" That means tomorrow - April 30? Please advise.
Marinakos responds to Simmonds:
"I am not happy with the progress. I spoke with Griffin [demolition contractor Griffin Campbell] this morning… :he said the back hoe is coming tomorrow to knock the remaining brick in. All the buildings will be down this week."
Simmonds responds to Wolfington's suggestion to have another conversation with a Salvation Army executive about getting access to the shop's roof in order to aid in the demolition:
Alex: Why? Waste more time? Wait for someone to be killed? You can do what you want but I am NOT backing off with these people and their half-baked charity. Perhaps you have the time and/or desire to "deal" with their idiotic behavior: I don't and I won't. I have to look after the interests of the Owners - Richard and his daughters. This situation - created by Salvation Army - imperils that. If you think a call from you will change anything why didn't you make it months ago or, at a minimum, when Plato advised that we were at their property line? Please advise.
Simmonds›› Marinakos, Oshtry
Simmonds e-mails Marinakos and Joel Oshtry, attorney for STB:
"Richard [Basciano] is on the phone now; he passed by the job site and observed no one working. Please advise - he will be visiting the site over the weekend."
Joel Oshtry, attorney for STB, sends a letter to Steven C. Nudel, the Harrisburg attorney for the Salvation Army:
"Because time is of the essence in carrying out the demolition of 2138 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA we are again writing you as The Salvation Army's attorney to determine if The Salvation Army will cooperate with the owner of 2138 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, STB Investments Corp., to allow access to the roof of 2140 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA. This is necessary to accomplish in a timely matter and to minimize risk, danger and expense.
The demolition company is prepared to work during off hours such as the weekend to minimize risk and danger but this is now the fourth weekend and week that they have not been able to do the required work because The Salvation Army has not responded to our reasonable requests for access to the roof of 2140 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA."
Marinakos updates Simmonds about demolition progress and a plan to get the the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections involved in the dispute with the Salvation Army:
"Here are today's pictures. Richard and his wife stopped by and seemed please. I spoke Richard on Saturday and explained the schedule. I am glad he saw more progress today.
This is our thought with the chimney. We will take our building down up to the chimney area. Then we will call L and I and have L and I fine the Salvation Army for a dangerous case. This might take longer than pulling it down ourselves, but it puts the army on the defensive. L and I cannot force the army to let us access to their roof. So we should send the army a damage letter for extra time that Campbell is spending."
Simmonds›› Marinakos, Oshtry
Simmonds e-mails colleagues about how to get the Salvation Army to cooperate with the demolition.
"Joel: Any response from the above [Salvation Army]; what else can be done to move them along? We will soon be at an impasse and unable to complete the job. Please advise. "
SalvationArmy ›› STB
Nudel e-mails Oshtry, attaching sections of the municipal building code dealing with demolition safety, as well as photos of the Market Street site:
"Certain code sections are identified below. It is not the responsibility of the Salvation Army to identify law for your client and your contractor. In addition to compliance with these sections please advise what procedures will be implemented to minimize vibration within the Salvation Army premises. There is concern that your work will cause damage to displayed items."
The building under demolition collapses onto the Salvation Army thrift store, killing six people inside.