The owners of a Chicago condo tower garage are facing a lawsuit by the city over long delays to repairs as scrutiny of condo buildings intensifies nationwide following the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers building in Surfside, Florida.
The suit was filed July 14 against the 111 East Chestnut Garage Condominium Association, which owns the garage in the Gold Coast building. It is owned separately from the condominium section of the building, which is not being sued, according to Crain’s.
Officials shut down the eight-story garage underneath the 57-story building on July 9 following an inspection, which turned up cracks in the structure, as well as damage to the concrete ceilings, columns, walls and floors. An engineering firm first uncovered the need for repairs in the garage in 2018.
The city is asking for a judge to require the garage association to make the repairs or authorize the city to do so and place a lien on the property to compensate the city. They also want the maximum fine imposed on the garage owners, which is believed to be $2,500 a day dating back to July 9.
Owners of condominiums in the building above have expressed fear for their safety as the garage has fallen into disrepair. They’ve been told that their portion of the building is safe.
Meanwhile, residential managers at the property say the garage owners are meeting with lenders to finance the repairs. The original estimate placed the emergency repairs at $500,000 and additional work between $4 million and $6 million.
The lawsuit comes at a time of increased scrutiny over condo safety following the Surfside collapse. Changes in the industry, including increased inspections, are already underway. In Los Angeles, there are plans to inventory and assess buildings similar to the Surfside condo.
[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner