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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - The explosives are on the way and the Ocean Tower could come tumbling down as early as Dec. 12.

"We're ready for the explosion," Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolitions Inc. told the South Padre Island Board of Aldermen this week. "We've done this all over the world with no serious accidents."

Construction on the 31-story, 151-unit luxury project was halted last summer, a year after it was determined that the building was sinking, which caused cracks in beams and columns.

Loizeaux said his workers have drilled 3,000 holes in the structure for the placement of the explosive charges.

The job is complicated, he said, since multiple jurisdictions are involved in managing the event.

"The safest way to watch is on television," he said. "But if you just have to see it in person, please cooperate with the security people. They are there to protect you."

Security will be stationed around the perimeter to keep spectators from getting too close, he said, adding that he expects as many as 6,000 people could gather to watch the implosion.

It will take about five days to load the explosives into the pre-drilled holes.

"The best guess I can give you is four to five days notice before the event," he said.

Dec. 12 is the earliest possible date, Loizeaux said.

He said the weather, especially the wind, is important. The building is 27 feet* out of plumb and leaning toward the north, he said.

"That's a lot of weight pulling toward that north side," he said. "If that tilt is aggravated by a wind out of the south I'm not comfortable at all. I want a north wind when we begin the implosion."

"This is the biggest building I've ever done," he said, "but I expect good results."

The Laguna Madre Leadership Class hopes to sell tickets to the Island's convention center parking lot during the implosion.

The money would be donated to local organizations and charities, Ramona Alcantara said.

Antun T. Domit, listed as the resident agent for Ocean Tower LP, sent letters in November 2008 to persons who had either expressed interest or had purchased one of the condo units, informing them that the high-rise project was canceled.

Developers of the tower have filed a lawsuit against the two engineering firms contracted for the project.

*[just kidding..... it's really only 4.5 inches outta plumb
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