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Miami Area Condo Failures: Years of Warning, But Mixed Signals

When the warning sign flashes Champlan Towers South structural and maintenance issuesHistorical documents from The Wall Street Journal, eyewitness testimony, and preliminary reviews by expert evaluation show that the information was modest and confusing, indicating that condo owners did not need to urgently improve the situation. ..

The 136-unit building was a prestigious luxury skyscraper when it was built in 1981 on the edge of the ocean in Surfside, Florida. Mayor Mitchell Kinzer at the time remembered. Almost 40 years later, engineers reported that an important part of the building’s design was flawed from the beginning.

Surfside Building officials to whom the 2018 report was forwarded inform the condo board that the tower is in good condition as it prepares for a major refurbishment. Even so, there were complaints from residents and more recently about construction work where the building next door rattles. By April of this year, the condominium director had warned residents that the observable damage had “significantly worsened.”

These mixed signals clouded images of structures that, in many respects, seemed quite unobtrusive on this part of South Florida, a peninsula surrounded by sea-facing dwellings. As it ages, even the kind of problems it develops can definitely be canceled as unobtrusive. The concrete will wear. Steel rust. The sea is corrosive.

“Peeling concrete, deteriorating rebar. These are not uncommon when a building is exposed to corrosion,” said Donna DiMaggio Berger, a lawyer at the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association. “This building was filled with water.”

Miami Area Condo Failures: Years of Warning, But Mixed Signals

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