Right in the heart of Pompano Beach, a golden-tinged sparkle of Las Vegas glitter has quietly materialized over the last five years.
Tall, fluted Greek columns reach two stories upward, connecting to ornate lintels that wrap around the top of the building. As evening twilight settles in, the Hammondville Road nightclub virtually glows with spotlights that highlight the building’s rich architecture and gold embossments.
The building’s façade is impressive on its own, but the adjacent porte-cochère held aloft by six square, grooved pillars gives the building a sense of majesty. Together, the building and the porte-cochère create a visual worthy of the Sin City skyline.
“It’s going to be an establishment that exudes Las Vegas quality and style,” says Max Tripodi of RCA Contractors, the company constructing the club. “It has that Greek-style architecture on the outside to represent those Las Vegas themes.”
Like anything worthwhile, construction of the building has been anything but easy.
A Challenge within a Challenge
“Imagine what it’s like trying to construct a building on top of another building—while the business is still a going concern,” Max says. “That’s what we’ve been doing for the last five years.”
With the project completion date finally in sight, Max says he’s looking forward to seeing the building in its final iteration. He expects construction to wrap up in late summer or early fall of 2019.
“When you build a two-story structure above an existing structure, it sounds easier than what it is,” Max says. “You have to bring rebar down through the existing concrete block to the first, original footer, because the building has to be tied down continuously with steel and concrete.”
That steel has to be anchored in a way that will support the second story.
“It all has to poured, formed, and inspected all the way around the building at 40-inch intervals,” Max says. “And the building is 40 feet by 125 feet. You can imagine the number of filled cells.”
Besides putting the roof trusses in, “you’re adding 100 tons of flying AC on top with cranes—it’s a real undertaking,” he says. “You’re trying not to disturb their parking lot and you have a minimal staging area, because you’re doing all this while the business is still operating.”
How is that even possible?
“The machines get there at 12 o’clock at night and you work until 10 in the morning,” Max says. “Then you clean everything up and get out of there before the staff starts showing up.”
As challenging as it has been, it’s been rewarding, too.
“It really is a beautiful building,” Max says. “It’s going to be really nice when it’s done.”
Planning the Future
The original building was a one-story commercial structure. In the 1950s it was a diner, and then it became a nightclub, Max says.
“It changed hands a few times before our client acquired it,” he says.
Planning for the project began about six years ago.
“We knew going in it was going to be a bit of a challenge,” Max says. “Besides the elaborate exterior, the idea was to create an open interior with a mezzanine dividing the first and second floors. So, if you were to punch through the original building roof, you’d look up 20 feet to see the top of the new building with the new air conditioners up there.”
While the exterior is very near completion, the final two-thirds of the interior is all that remains to be done.
“If you were to go into the old entrance, the interior would look pretty much the same; it’d just look a little bit smaller because we’ve been building around it,” Max says. “If you were to exit one of the old exit doors of the original building, it now brings you into the new section. We’re also building a catwalk that’s going to overlook the old first floor. It’s going to be cool.”
The owner of the building couldn’t be more pleased with the work Max and RCA Contractors has done.
“For us, it was critical to keep the business operating throughout the renovation process,” the owner says. “Other than the smaller club area, you wouldn’t even know construction was taking place. Max and his team are true professionals. They went above and beyond to give us a top-quality club. We couldn’t be happier.”