CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The old Casci building in downtown Charleston will start coming down later this week.

Well-known demolition business Rodney Loftis & Son has the contract to tear down the old structure which will be about the third tallest building the contractor demolished.

“You can’t use a typical configuration on an excavator because of the height restrictions, so you have to get what’s called a high reach machine,” Loftis told MetroNews Monday. “I’ve been looking at purchasing one of those for years and I finally found one. It’s here getting assembled and we’re going to use it to demolish that structure.”

TC Energy. the company which manages the Columbia Gas Transmission and Columbia Gulf Transmission systems, announced plans in February to build its new $60 million headquarters on the site.

“The new Charleston office not only signifies our commitment to Charleston and the state of West Virginia but also celebrates the rich history and significance of energy in the region,” the company said. “With this move, we are not only investing in our 450 employees in Charleston but also contributing to the growth and vitality of the community.”

The current Casci building, which was at one time the home of Sears Department Store, will be replaced by a new building built by Remington Development Corporation. Completion is expected by 2025 with move-in scheduled for 2026.

TC Energy currently occupies the former Columbia Gas building on MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston.

The Casci building once had about 700 workers in downtown Charleston but the Covid Pandemic sent about 95% of the workforce home to work remotely. Those workers never returned to the downtown location.

TC Energy previously told MetroNews the new building “will be better suited for our needs (for our ~450 employees in the current office) and offers a modern design, rooftop patio and ample parking at no cost to employees. It also includes an additional 20,000 sq. foot warehouse space.”

Loftis busy

It’s already been a busy summer for Loftis who spoke to MetroNews from the cab of his excavator during a break from bringing down the last of the old Macy’s store a couple of blocks away at the Town Center Mall. He had hoped to be done with the Macy’s job two weeks ago, but engineers raised concern about the wall left when the building was removed. That wall has been shored up and Loftis expected to finish the Macy’s job soon.

The Casci job will take several weeks.

“It’s probably going to take two to three weeks to put the whole building on the ground, then we’ll be a couple more weeks sorting the material and hauling it away from the site,” he said.

The demo will at times impact travel on Kanawha Boulevard, but Loftis hoped to keep that to a minimum. He also said the job will be done in time for the Sternwheel Regatta.

Loftis said asbestos abatement on the job will be minimal since most of that work was done years ago during previous updates to the building.

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