Electrical fire short-circuits condo rentals at the Setai Miami Beach, 14 floors still without power

Engineers and contractors aim to restore power from the 15th floor to the 29th floor by Monday

Miami /
Apr.April 02, 2021 06:16 PM
14 floors of The Setai Miami Beach have been without power  for a week.

14 floors of The Setai Miami Beach have been without power for a week.

For more than a week, 14 floors of The Setai Miami Beach’s 385-foot-tall luxury tower have been without power, cramping the lifestyle of residents and guests at one of the city’s swankiest condo-hotel properties.

It’s also hitting some unit owners in their pocketbooks, as they are missing out on condo rental income during a busy two-week period that started on Passover and concludes this Easter weekend.

An electrical fire broke out on the 19th floor of the tower at 101 20th Street in South Beach at about 6 p.m on March 26, followed by a second blaze the following morning that led to a partial evacuation.

Alfredo J. Gonzalez, a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig representing The Setai’s ownership group, told The Real Deal that an electrical panel on the 19th floor was severely damaged, resulting in a loss of power in the condo portion of the condo-hotel, from the 15th floor to the 29th floor.

“The goal is to have power restored by Monday, April 5,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve been working with the engineers and the city to make sure whatever needs to get done [be completed] as quickly as possible.”

The sprinkler system also went off on the 18th and 19th floors, but Gonzalez did not know the extent of any water damage to the drywall in the hallways and interiors of units on those floors.

Because of the lack of power, units on the affected floors are not being rented out through the property’s hotel program, Gonzalez added. That means some owners who lease their units are not deriving any income until the electricity is turned back on, while owners currently staying in their units would have to find other accommodations.

“Guests were relocated to rooms not affected [by the outage],” Gonzalez said. “I can’t speak to what individual owners [residing in their units] are doing, but they do have running water and elevator service.”

TRD obtained screenshots of emails sent by The Setai’s general manager, Alex Furrer, to residents, from a guest staying in an upper floor unit with power who asked not to be identified. The emails document that the damage caused by the fire and water from the sprinkler system was extensive.

“Detailed inspections have shown that severe damages and still existing [moisture] affects the electrical main lines and delays the repair process,” Furrer wrote to residents on Monday. “While restoration companies and electricians have already started over the weekend with the recovery, as of tomorrow a larger crew will assist to expedite repairs.”

Four days later, Furrer reported that The Setai had hired Miami-based project management firm DSS Condo to lead a task force that will get the power back up as soon as possible. He said DSS had completed its investigation of the building’s current condition and that the consultants “have every confidence” that power will be restored no later than Monday, April 5.

The guest said it was a chaotic scene last weekend. “My fire alarm didn’t go off, and it was completely dark in the corridors,” the guest said. “People were freaking out.”

In 2014, a partnership between Alexander Von Furtsenberg and the Nakash family, founders of the Jordache Jeans empire, bought The Setai for $90 million. The property consists of a 1930s redesigned Art Deco hotel and the adjacent 40-story condo tower. The Nakashes also own more than 10 units in the luxury building.


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