Raleigh tower where workers died opens

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It was a bittersweet reveal of the newest addition to the downtown Raleigh skyline.

The Charter Square project has been completed and the building officially opened Wednesday night with a celebration.

No one has forgotten the accident that took three mens’ lives March 23.

That’s why the building’s developers honored those men with a prayer from a Catholic priest before the building was dedicated.

Three men were killed and one was seriously injured when the scaffolding they were on fell, plummeting five stories to the ground.

Jose Erasmo Hernandez, Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, and Anderson Almeida were killed.

Elmer Guavara was seriously injured.

The scaffolding collapsed at the construction site on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, only a block from Memorial Auditorium.

Choate was the contractor in charge of the project.

“It impacted everybody on the job. It impacted ownership, impacted people working on the job. It’s not something that’s happened in my 30 years of doing it. It’s a dangerous business, but our hearts and prayers went out to the families of the victims,” said Andy Andrews, CEO of Dominion Realty Partners.

Andrews went on to say he thinks Charter Square is still a good project and hopes it will help downtown Raleigh continue to grow.

Andrews said Dominion Realty will continue to be diligent when choosing contractors in the future.

“We have a lot of stop-gap measures and contractors work diligently to keep their subs in line to make sure they don’t make mistakes. And we’ll continue to do that,” said Andrews.

The Charter Square building is 11 stories and has space for retail, restaurants and offices.

A little over half of the spaces have already been leased.

Tenant Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP is joined by HDR Engineers, Industrious, CBRE Raleigh, JDavis Architects, Intelligent Office, Dominion Realty Partners, Yadkin Bank and a Eschelon Hospitality restaurant.

Andrews is hoping it becomes downtown Raleigh’s first platinum LEED certified building.

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