Residents of Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach were ordered to evacuate in early July
After the fatal condo collapse in Surfside, Fla., an audit of similar buildings in Miami-Dade County prompted North Miami Beach officials to evacuate and close another high-rise after a sketchy safety report.
The Champlain Towers South building in Surfside collapsed on June 24, killing at least 97 people in the early morning hours as most of the victims were asleep. Then on July 2, North Miami Beach officials said an inspector’s report found serious structural flaws along the construction of the 10-story Crestview Towers 7 miles away.
Now, residents can finally go back – but only to pack up and move out, the city said Wednesday.
Florida high-rise surfside condo free of structural concerns after collapse
“Starting today, residents who wish to exit the building will be able to reserve a time to access and unload their units from next Monday, July 26,” a city spokesman said in a statement. “There is no time limit for completing this move, as long as the residents are finished before the end of the day. However, exit times are limited by the fact that the tower has only one working lift.”
Residents will be escorted by the city police due to security concerns, but professional movers, friends, family or other helpers will also be allowed.
Residents were allowed to retrieve only essential items until last week.
The evacuation came after the Crestview Condo Board discovered structural deficiencies in a building inspection report.
“Following the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, North Miami Beach immediately began a thorough review of all condo tall buildings above five floors to determine whether they were suitable for the county and city are in compliance with a 40-year recertification process and are safe for occupancy,” the city said at the time. “Today, Crestview Towers submitted a recertification report dated January 11, 2021, in which an engineer maintained by the Condo Association Board concluded that the 156-unit building was structurally and electrically unsafe.”
The 11-page report, which the city released to the public, shows that engineer Robert Barrero found distressed beams, columns, walls and other damage to the building.
They also found cracks and spots throughout the structure and signs of moisture infiltration as well as wrought rebar.
In the report’s summary, they wrote that they found the building “not structurally safe (sic) safe for specified use for continued occupancy.”
He found the building’s masonry to be in “poor” condition and wrote that the exposed steel had suffered “a considerable amount of corrosion throughout”.
He recommended extensive concrete repairs. The report also found widespread flaws in the building’s electrical system.
“Significant … structural repairs will be required,” the report reads.