Nine Buildings of Concern in Miami Beach, One That May Require Evacuation Following Inspections

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Nine Buildings of Concern in Miami Beach, One That May Require Evacuation Following Inspections:

Preliminary visual inspections were ordered after Surfside collapse

Updated, July 9, 7:15 pm with new number and list of buildings involved

One building in Miami Beach “may need to be vacated” after building officials noted safety concerns following initial inspections that were ordered after the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside. That building, 6881 Indian Creek Drive, has until Monday to provide a preliminary engineer's report or risk evacuation.

Immediately following the Surfside collapse, City Manager Alina Hudak ordered initial inspections of all buildings in Miami Beach that were in their 40-year recertification process “to identify any obvious signs of structural concerns.” Prior to the tragedy, Champlain Towers was getting ready for its County-mandated 40-year certification though an engineer’s report flagged structural concerns in 2018.

In a letter to the Mayor and Commissioners, Hudak noted, “Like our neighboring local governments, the City is facing the difficult task of balancing building safety concerns with the disruption that residents may face through potential evacuation.”

Of the 507 buildings that fall within the 40-year certification category, she said, inspectors “observed concerns for ten of those buildings.” That number has since been reduced to nine after one action was resolved.

“These concerns were severe enough to be issued Unsafe Structure notices requiring more immediate compliance,” Hudak wrote. “Four of these properties are complying currently, two have advised they will comply today, and four have not provided additional information.” 

“The Building Official visited these sites again today,” she noted. “One of these buildings may need to be vacated and the Housing and Community Services Department is mobilized to assist. Others will need varying levels of enforcement, for example, securing balconies.”

The one building that could face evacuation is 6881 Indian Creek “if they don’t provide the appropriate documentation by Monday,” according to City Spokeswoman Melisser Berthier. The number of units in the building was not immediately available.

The other buildings involved:

5333 Collins Avenue [Complying]
1676 Alton Road [Complying]
401 Ocean Drive [Complying]
1000 West Avenue [Complying]
345 Ocean Drive [Complying]
1250 Ocean Drive [Complying]
8233 Harding Avenue [Pending]
8035 Crespi Blvd [Pending]

According to Berthier, those listed as complying have already submitted the preliminary engineer's report.

To mark the buildings that require immediate action, the City has been posting red Unsafe Structure placards at all entrance doors with compliance instructions and is proactively contacting unresponsive responsible parties as well as holding meetings with those responsible for the buildings to discuss issues and corrective actions.

All of the buildings within the 40-year certification process are required to submit reports from licensed design professionals that detail conditions of the structure and electrical systems and a cover letter indicating whether the buildings are safe for occupation. Those reports are due within 21-days of the notice from the Building Department on June 29. They will be reviewed by Ana Salgueiro, the City’s Building Official.

Concerns raised about buildings unrelated to the 40-year certification process are assigned to the inspection team for further research. On Saturday, inspectors order the evacuation of 1619 Lenox Avenue after a call about a vacant unit in that building. A building inspector “flagged a flooring system failure in that unit and excessive deflection on an exterior wall,” according to Berthier. The building was evacuated “in an abundance of caution,” pending further information. The three-story building has 24 units and, according to Berthier, only one person required assistance with relocation.

Photo: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com




 

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