Marina City Club condo towers deemed safe for now, due for big repairs

Tab could reach $140M, according to several reports

Marina City Club (Google Maps)
Marina City Club (Google Maps)

The posh high-rise condominiums that overlook Marina del Rey need serious repairs but are structurally sound and at no risk of imminent collapse, a county engineering report concluded.

The 48-year-old Marina City Club towers must fix deteriorating cement, exposed and corroded reinforcement bars and damaged waterproofing on rooftop decks, but don’t likely face the fate of the fallen Champlain Towers South, which killed 98 residents in South Florida in June.

Los Angeles County ordered the structural engineering study last summer after residents voiced concern about public safety at the 10-acre complex of 600 condominiums in three, 16-story towers and a three-story, 101-unit apartment building.

The Marina City Club includes swimming pools, tennis courts, boat slips, restaurants, a fitness center and offices on land owned by the county. Deferred maintenance at the aging complex was estimated last year to require between $80 million and $140 million in repairs.

The new engineering study found cracks in walls and cement, signs of water intrusion in parking garages, “spalling” and crumbling concrete, as well as water-damaged rooftop decks.

Cement fastenings to handrails along walkways and on private balconies also were deteriorated, creating a safety hazard, the report said.

But the report by Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers of Pasadena found no danger of imminent collapse.

“No significant structural damage was observed,” the 14-page engineering report concluded. “It is our opinion that the majority of damages observed were a result of normal wear and tear of the structure and/or moisture/water intrusion in the building envelope.”

It recommended Marina City Club operator Essex Property Trust, a publicly traded apartment firm, make the needed repairs to the three 16-story condo towers, parking structures and apartments.

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Officials from the San Mateo-based firm couldn’t be reached for comment, according to the newspaper.

The report recommended further engineering studies be done to target how the condo owners and the nearby apartment building would address the needed repairs and prevent future deterioration and corrosion. A county statement said Essex is engaging Saiful Bouquet and other consultants to prepare repair documents and do more assessments.

Residents living in the three, circular Marina City Club towers had complained about leaking pipes that flooded their condos, water pooling on roofs and in parking garages, and leaking in stairwells. The damage appeared similar to reports of crumbling concrete and parking garage flooding prior to the June 24 Champlain tower collapse in Surfside, Fla.

In July, County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella ordered the complex to have a qualified engineering firm do a structural analysis of the buildings.

Numerous studies show the complex will need between $80 million to $140 million in repairs, although its maintenance reserves were severely underfunded.

Building operators will need to patch roof leaks, renovate and waterproof the pool deck, install new water pipes, upgrade the electrical system, fix leaking windows and update elevators, according to a 2021 consultant’s report.

[Daily Breeze] – Dana Bartholomew

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