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Hard Rock developers want demolition delay, bigger insurance policy

1031 Canal has signed a contract with Kolb Grading in hopes of tearing down the Hard Rock piece by piece, instead of imploding it.

NEW ORLEANS — We'll soon know why the Hard Rock collapsed back in October after the federal government releases its report.

What we don't know is when the building will come down.

But thanks to a new lawsuit, we're getting a behind-the-scenes look at those delays — and a growing dispute between the owner of the project and the company that was expected to implode the building.

Downtown New Orleans is a ghost town right now. The city said it's the perfect time to implode the Hard Rock Hotel. But in new court documents, the building's developers said they feel like they're being strong-armed into an implosion they can't properly insure.

1031 Canal Development makes the claims in this response to a federal lawsuit from D.H. Griffin, which is hoping to back out of an agreement it had with the Hard Rock's owner to dynamite the partially collapsed tower to finally bring it down.

Griffin was supposed to get a $50 million insurance policy. But it claims it could only get a $22 million policy.

"You might have significant property damage to the Saenger, New Orleans Athletic Club, many historic buildings that are in the area,"  Eyewitness News legal analyst Chick Foret said.

"At the heart of this dispute is a series of promises made (and broken) by Griffin," lawyers from 1031 Canal Development write.

They go on to claim that "...the city continues to erect obstacle after obstacle to 1031 Canal's plans to proceed."

 And "Griffin is believed to have played a central role in orchestrating these delays."

1031 Canal has signed a contract with Kolb Grading in hopes of tearing down the Hard Rock piece by piece, instead of imploding it.

Eyewitness News legal analyst Chick Foret said there's little agreement about anything except for the fact this lawsuit will delay any work at the site.

 "So now, nothing happens," Foret said. "So the city is caught in the middle of this."

Ramsey Green with the New Orleans Infrastructures office said the city has had enough delays.

"The city doesn't care who the contractor is," Green said. " The city is tired of plans— and wants it down. But what we want to make sure is it's done safely."

Foret said there's always one way to make things happen.

"Oftentimes, when you get into litigation and construction issues and demolition, money solves all problems," Foret said.

One that many people hope will be resolved soon.

RELATED: Hard Rock engineer's 'willful' violations led to building's collapse, OSHA citation says

RELATED: Hard Rock Hotel’s owner wants traditional demolition, but city says it’s not in favor

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