Massive excavators sit on the St. Pete Pier, mechanical arms destroying concrete and breaking ground with ease. The firm responsible for the demolition, Sonny Glasbrenner Inc. of Clearwater Beach won the contract to tear down the pier with a $3.16 million bid in 2015, but now finds itself in hot water over the whereabouts of two excavators.
According to Wells Fargo, Glasbrenner borrowed more than $500,000 in April 2015 to purchase two giant hydraulic excavators — a 2015 Doosan DX300LC and DX350LC. Each has a retail value of approximately $250,000 and $300,000 respectively.
Wells Fargo alleges Glasbrenner skipped its November 2015 payment and all subsequent payments, resulting in Wells Fargo demanding the return of the excavators as collateral.
Unfortunately, Glasbrenner refused and reportedly won’t tell the bank the location of the two vehicles. Things got messy, and now Wells is suing Glasbrenner for damages, asking the court to force the vehicles’ return.
It isn’t the first time Glasbrenner has been “stuck in the mud.”
In 2012, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) threatened Glasbrenner’s sister company, Greenway Recycling Inc. with a $10,000 fine for allegedly dumping illegal solid waste materials at the demolition of the former Nielson Media Research property in Dunedin. Glasbrenner was hired to demolish the 23-acre site by none other than Wells Fargo. Greenway Recycling eventually was fined $4,250 by the DEP.
And in October 2015, Glasbrenner again found itself in hot water; this time sued by Harris Ventures, a Georgia-based staffing agency, after bouncing a check for $52,660, a partial payment on a balance of $151,866.
According to an October 2015 report by the Tampa Bay Times, Harris Ventures is not providing any staff for the current pier project, and this fiscal issue was eventually resolved.
Things got worse still for the local company when in the same month high winds destroyed a $15,000 turbidity barrier designed to prevent demolition debris from the St. Pete Pier ending up in Tampa Bay. Debris did indeed end up in the bay, and the barrier’s failure put the project months behind schedule.
Demolition is now scheduled to be completed by this September.
After questioning Glasbrenner about the current case and location of the excavators; they replied with “no comment.” As of press time, Wells Fargo had not returned a request for comment.