ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — The man who oversees construction of the locally famous “Majesty Building” off Interstate-4 in Altamonte Springs said Central Floridians will soon notice some big changes over the coming months.
Claud Bowers is CEO of WACX, a religious independent TV station known as SuperChannel 55. The station has been broadcasting in Central Florida for 40 years and plans to move its operations into the Majesty when it's finished. The building has been under construction since 2001.
“We’ve obviously shown the community that we’re moving forward to completion as fast as we can,” he said.
Construction was delayed last year as SuperChannel 55 competed with the I-4 Ultimate Project for labor, but Bowers said they’re overcoming that problem now. They have a general contractor, two major sub-contractors and are working on a third. Work happens Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and sometimes on Saturday.
“At this point in time it’s going full steam ahead about as much as we can do,” Bowers said. “Nothing’s really holding us up at this point.”
Right now workers are building the “last major component” - a parking garage for a thousand cars, most of which is underground. Bowers said a third of the garage is built above ground, another third is under construction, and they’re currently getting contracts for the third part on the Cranes Roost Boulevard side.
During the day the Majesty Building stands out for its unique construction design and curved glass “curtain,” which Bowers claims SuperChannel 55 invented in conjunction with the original construction company.
At night the building appears as an eerily dark figure along I-4, but Bowers said that will soon change when they begin lighting up the building at night.
“It will be quite a spectacle,” he said. “We’ll have fiber optic lighting up the fins of the building up to the top floors. Day or night it will be quite a visible image. We’ll light it up when the time is right.”
Bowers said the “tipping point” for Central Floridians noticing changes in the Majesty will come about “two months” from now when they construct banquet facility rooms on top of the parking garage.
“It’s going to dramatically change,” he said. “Every week there will be significant changes that begin. In late May and early June is when it’ll be obvious how spectacular this building is going to be.”
Some Central Floridians have dubbed the Majesty Building the "I-4 Eyesore" because of how long construction has taken and lack of occupancy. Bowers said he doesn't consider it a visual distraction.
“But on the other hand, especially in the early days when it was sixteen floors of concrete and steel before the glass curtain went up, it was not very attractive as any case of any building,” he said.
But Bowers seemed confident the building will gain a new reputation once it begins to take on its final form.
“The building will speak for itself,” he said. “Just watch it over the next twelve months.”