Dade County Courthouse missed inspections since 1988

Miami-Dade County Courthouse
Miami-Dade County Courthouse (Credit: Marc Averette)

The aging Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami missed required building and safety inspections for decades, according to published reports.

The Miami-Dade County Inspector General’s office reported that the courthouse hadn’t been structurally or electrically inspected since 1988. The courthouse, built in 1928, hadn’t been inspected for building recertification since 1988, inspections that are required every 10 years for buildings older than 40, the Daily Business Review reported.

A $219 million bond measure to build a new civil courthouse was rejected by voters in 2014. Since then, there have been proposals for public/private partnerships for a new courthouse and jail. The property, at 73 West Flagler Street, has been in disrepair, with courthouse workers complaining of mold, asbestos, flooding and termites. Portions of the courthouse have also been closed off.

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While fire inspections were completed on an annual basis, life safety inspections had never taken place – a city of Miami requirement. The city’s building department won’t recertify the building until specific repairs, which won’t be completed until 2020, are made, according to the Daily Business Review.

The judicial building is surrounded by new and planned development, including a new children’s courthouse and All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral station. Investors have also been buying older buildings with plans to reposition and redevelop them. This week, the Courthouse Tower, across the street from the Dade County Courthouse sold to New York-based Brickman for $27.5 million. [Daily Business Review] – Katherine Kallergis