Luxe Miami tower temporarily condemned after squabble over leaky windows

January 11, 2010 03:04PM

The Palm Bay towers, a ritzy Miami landmark at Biscayne Bay and Northeast 69th Street, are the site of a bitter debate over aging floor-to-ceiling windows that led to the city condemning the building just before the holidays. The notice, usually invoked to shutter blighted properties, was issued by Miami building official Mariano Fernandez after factions within the building complained loudly enough about their weather-beaten windows that he declared the ultra-posh tower unsafe. “This is a caricature of real problems. It’s scandalous when you think of the real tragedy of real evictions and people suffering and having to leave their homes,” said Palm Bay resident Mitchell Wolfson, who said he is neutral on the dispute. An emergency court order temporarily relieved residents of the city’s threat to cut off water and power to the building, and now the building has 45 days to resolve the infighting and address the deteriorating, nine-foot-tall windows, which some say are so leaky they require duct tape to keep out the rain. Replacing all 1,875 windows could cost as much as $5 million, though, and some residents, though they may have been wealthy when they purchased their condos, won’t currently be able to afford the special assessments of between $60,000 and $100,000 per unit. The building’s bank has agreed to a $1.5 million loan for the job. [Miami Herald]