- The building as it sits now - in all it's International style glory - is actually worthy of preserving. It is reflective of an identifiable style, it was designed by local architect and public official and has been an important icon and institution in the minds of our residents.
- Problem is - few people like the existing design of the building. So, the existing style, while historically important, has few fans and the community prefers the "original" iterations of the building over the present one.
- Re-doing the existing building in a "historic" style - more Mediterranean Revival is not "restoring" anything. The original building was much smaller and the only remnants of the "original" design can be seen on the generally inaccessible western side of the building.
- The existing building's footprint is seaward of the coastal construction line. Not only is it questionable public policy to invest money to improve a building that could be impacted either by coastal erosion or catastrophic hurricane damage due to its location, but its location triggers certain coastal construction structural requirements that would likely "kick in." It is certain that the improvements proposed would exceed the threshold for "grandfathering" status. This would result in a large portion of the project budget going towards the meeting of the new requirements and not toward making the building more aesthetically attractive. The same can be said for the structural requirements needed in order to meet the coastal 140 mph wind standard and imposition of ADA accessibility standards.
- Working around the existing tenants creates logistical problems. How long will they be required to be shuttered during the reconstruction and can safe entry be provided for the public during construction?
- Given the unknowns in the building and the amount of deterioration present, it will be difficult if not impossible to get a fixed price on the project.
- A new building starts with a clean slate. You have more flexibility with the ultimate design of the building, can easily incorporate green construction techniques and allows for improved functionality of the building - rather than the need to work around existing structure. It also allows for the complete footprint to be landward of the coastal construction line. And it allows the existing tenants the possibility to remain in the old building until the new one is ready - with minimal interruption to their operations.
- Without a fixed location represented by the existing building, you have more flexibility to be creative with the site plan.
This is a PUBLIC building after all.