Residents of a dilapidated North Miami Beach condo, ordered to evacuate last week because of concerns about its structural integrity, will be able to return to their unit on Friday.
But only for up to 15 minutes to retrieve important items, and as a police officer as an escort.
Apart from its short opportunity for dozens of refugees, city leaders on Thursday doubled their claim that the Crestview Towers complex is unsafe for the occupation — hired by the Homeowners Association. He refused to conclude the engineer and scrambled for many residents to shelter. At a press conference, the city also released a record showing more than $ 500,000 in fines for illegal construction, painting and other issues. Electricity problems and 18 different Fire Service Act violations.
The city ordered the building to evacuate on Friday following the collapse of the surfside Champlan South Tower as North Miami Beach participated in a county-wide audit of old skyscraper delinquency inspections. Crestview is nine years behind the mandatory 40-year recertification process. This often requires associations to pay for expensive renovations and structural repairs.
“The Condominium Association is the main person responsible for dragging this out over the years,” North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony Defilipo told Herald Wednesday. “Until then, no one is at risk.”
Mariel Trinch, a lawyer at the Crestview Association, told the Miami Herald Wednesday that the city wasn’t working in good faith to bring the owner back inside. She says the city does not have to expel residents during repairs, while the board acknowledges that it may have acted more urgently to submit a 40-year report due in 2012. Made insisted that weekend investigations from engineers who discovered it should be taken into account.
“”They also dropped the ball, “Trinch said. “”All I can say is that it’s very easy for the city to close this building in nine years because it’s considered unsafe … AAt this point, it’s about to show its face. “
At a press conference Thursday morning, North Miami Beach Mayor Arthur Solei said the Crestview building was not electrically and structurally safe. He referred to a January 1 report by B & A Engineering Services for a 40-year recertification of condos. The report described some cracked columns and visible delaminations throughout the structure. He said the city did not order the building to evacuate until last Friday because the association had not sent the building to the city until July 2.
“I can’t feel enough stress, this is a very serious situation,” Solei said.
However, on Saturday, the day after the forced evacuation, a structural engineer hired by the Condominium Management Companies visited the building again. The engineer, Fernando Azqueu, concluded in a 14-page report that the structural integrity of the building was in good condition and that residents could return while the repair was being carried out.
However, the city did not “reference or directly refute” the findings of the January report, and submitted the condo a new 40-year recertification report to address the proposed repairs, He said he requested that he submit it to the city in the correct way. format. In a statement, North Miami Beach architect J. Daniel Ozna added that the condo has not been licensed to perform the necessary repairs since January.
The city said residents would not be allowed access until the issue was resolved.
The board’s lawyer, Trinch, said the estimated cost of the repair was over $ 1 million and it’s unclear if the Condominium Management Companies can pay the full cost of the repair.
At a press conference on Thursday, officials also checked for other concerns and said that only one elevator was working, but two of the three elevators in the crowd were working properly. Some people shouted that they were there.
Richardland, police chief of the North Miami Beach Police Department, also said his department was investigating past allegations of financial fraud by the association.
“We’re going to reach the bottom of this,” he said. Tollinchi did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations from the police chief.
Tough housing market
Crestview residents are struggling to find a place to live. Some are staying at the hotel, while others are crashing at the homes of family and friends.
The city announced on Thursday that residents could enter the building from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday. Only one representative of each family can enter for 15 minutes at a time with a police officer. Authorities urged people not to grab furniture or heavy objects. They asked residents to get the medicine, clothing, and other items they needed to stay outside the complex.
Homeless Last currently houses 55 individuals, some toddlers, 6 dogs and 3 cats from the complex. Ronbook, chairman of Miami-Dade’s Homeless Last, urged residents to call the organization to arrange accommodation in the near future.
“We are not going to abandon North Miami Beach citizens who were otherwise expelled due to the condition of the building and potential threats to health and safety,” he said.
However, the book also admitted to Herald that the homeless last was thinly growing when the COVID expulsion moratorium expired at the end of the month. He said he assured county representatives that “we do not have the resources that may be needed financially and otherwise” for the large-scale evacuation.
“We know there will be more buildings in the next few days,” Book said. “”Miami-Dade County is the toughest rental market in the country in terms of affordability. When it comes to affordability, we are in a terrible, terrible place. “
Other organizations, such as the local American Red Cross, also support family housing. Proponents said some have lived in their cars since the evacuation on Friday.
Norimorales was excited to celebrate her birthday in a few weeks and planned to have her visiting family stay in the apartment. Now she wants to find a place to live.
She lived in a condo for two years and is now staying at a friend’s house on Harlandale Beach. But a friend wants her homeless last to help her because she needs to move soon.
When she evacuated from the building, she grabbed her suitcase packed with her Yorkie, blue, and jeans, and some other items and a pair of sandals.
Before evacuating, I worked as a nail technician from home. On Friday, she wants to collect her nail supplies, make an appointment, and be able to start work again.
Estefania Grajales-Garcia, 25, lived in the tower with her husband and two young children. They currently live in an apartment they found at their husband’s job. Their rent is about the same as the Crest View Tower.
When she evacuated, she could only get clothes. She said the children aged 4 and 5 were nervous and constantly missed toys. What they really need now is furniture. Their current living conditions consist of comfortable and inflatable mattresses that can be purchased after escaping from the apartment.
She said she was trying not to cry in front of them, but the situation hit her.
“It’s frustrating because all of us are there and we don’t have anything right now,” she said.