Demolition of old Torres de Sabana housing complex in Carolina is completed
By The Star Staff
The Public Housing Administration (AVP by its Spanish initials) carried out on Sunday the demolition of the two 10-story towers that were located in the old Torres de Sabana residential complex in Carolina, to make way for the construction of a new housing project.
“We are satisfied with the result of the demolition carried out today, as planned, with the least impact on the environment and the community,” AVP Administrator Alejandro Salgado Colón said in a written statement. “We follow a sensitive process to achieve the relocation of residents for their greater well being and that of the community. Now we are beginning the construction of a new project that fills us all with hope.”
The two 10-story towers that remained within the public housing complex were demolished through a controlled demolition process for which the explosive material was strategically placed in small quantities and detonated synchronously, causing the buildings to collapse under their own weight. The controlled demolition process minimizes the effects and impact on surrounding structures and properties.
As part of the demolition project planning, the people who live within a 500-foot radius of the demolished structures were mobilized to the Sabana Gardens Urbanization Community Center, where AVP established a command center and shelter.
Inaugurated in January 1971, the Torres de Sabana residential complex had 452 housing units, distributed in six buildings, two of them with 10 floors and four with four floors. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized its demolition in 2019 due to its advanced deterioration.
The relocation process of the families that still lived in Torres de Sabana for the year 2019 was carried out following the guidelines established under Section 18 of the Federal Housing Law of 1937 and its regulation 27 CFR part 970. The families received orientation and guidance in the process, and were offered a home in another development within Puerto Rico or a Section 8 Program voucher.
Salgado Colón expressed his optimism with the new project that the AVP will develop on the land, since he said the safe housing needs of the area will be met.
Once the process of removing debris and clearing the land is completed, in the remainder of 2022 the construction of a new affordable housing complex with 132 units will proceed, under the mixed model, with units subsidized by the government, Plan 8 and private rental.
“This type of project has proven to be a successful one for the development of resilient communities that meet the needs of individuals and families today,” Salgado Colón said. “Examples of this are the Bayshore Villas projects in Puerta de Tierra, Renaissance Square in Hato Rey and Emerald Vista in Caguas.”