Hundreds of Miami residents were told to leave their eight-story condo building late Monday night after city officials deemed the property to be structurally unsound.
As reported by NBC Miami, The 137-unit building at 5050 NW Seventh St. was given an evacuation order in the middle of the night, according to Miami building director Asael “Ace” Marrero. “We obviously don’t feel that it’s safe,” he told the outlet. “Structural integrity has been degraded by the contractor proceeding with the repairs that they were not authorized to do.” The building had been listed on the unsafe structure list since May, and was found to be non-compliant with Miami’s recertification process. Marrero and other city officials met with residents on July 26, and cited concerns regarding the “condition of the building,” wrote the Miami Herald.
Inspectors then visited the building again the following day and closed down the garage out of similar structural concerns. Officials told the newspaper that the property manager was then contacted, and was asked to submit a plan to fix the columns on the first floor of the building. The manager apparently never responded. On Thursday, an engineer sent a letter to officials, deeming the property “safe for current occupancy while the emergency repair work continued.”
But Marrero claimed that when inspectors visited the property again the following Monday, that the repairs were “not adequate for the support” of the columns, which prompted officials to order mass evacuations. The evacuation comes as city officials do a sweeping review of the structural integrity of condominiums in the Miami area following the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, which left 98 people dead.