SURFSIDE – Haunted by the recent tragedy in Surfside, some residents of ocean-side apartments in South Florida have been searching for information about the structural integrity of their condominiums. The residents of a Collins Avenue building with prior warnings in Miami Beach said they are horrified about what they found.
On Nov. 19, 2020, a
city official wrote, “Structure with evidence of spalling
concrete. Need to submit a report signed and sealed by [an]
engineer to evaluate the structure together with methods of
repairs.” Near an entrance, there is a Dec. 28, 2020 red
“unsafe structure” violation notice.
The building collapse in Surfside concerned residents at Maison Grande Condominium who said they are worried about “unsafe structure” warnings. As the search for survivors at Champlain Towers South continued, the president of the Maison Grande Condominium Association blamed the delays on repairs on the city’s “slow” turnaround on permits.
Maison Grande at 6039 Collins Ave. is far from Champlain Towers South. On Tuesday, the condo association president said the violations are already being corrected. The association has been waiting on city permits for concrete restoration in the garage and pool since Feb. 16th. There is also a 3-month delay on permits to repair a 72-square-foot area in the ceiling of the penthouse level.
Maison Grande’s condo association also plans to install a new sprinkler system and smoke detectors by November. Records show Maison Grande was built in 1971 and passed its 40-year recertification process in 2013. An engineer deemed the building “structurally sound” and determined the deterioration of concrete was minor and cosmetic and the rebar corrosion in some balcony slab edges was minor.
The association hired Hollywood-based Coast To Coast General Building Contractors to make the repairs on the exterior envelope of the building during the recertification process in 2013. Yanieve Levi, the president of Coast To Coast, said the repairs were not as significant as he had anticipated before the work about eight years ago.
“The building seemed to be in pretty good shape,” Levi sad on Tuesday.
City officials believe that has changed. The outstanding violations on the building in Miami Beach are linked to alleged evidence of spalling concrete.
Levi said property owners need to be in communication with their board associations and be proactive and ask questions such as, “When was the last improvement? What is budgeted? How are we going to pay for it? Do we plan on reserves?”