Newly filed survey reports for Crestview Towers Condominium in North Miami Beach, which was evacuated last week, detail a litany of problems, but conclude that it is structurally safe enough for residents to occupy while repairs are performed. The studies were commissioned by the Crestview Towers Condominium Association.
Still, no one will be allowed to return to Crestview at 2025 Northeast 164th Street until at least Tuesday, said North Miami Beach City Manager Arthur “Duke” Sorey.
In a new report dated Monday, ASD Consulting Engineers noted numerous instances of concrete corrosion and spalling. The engineers found a high quantity of water-soluble chlorides in the balcony slabs as well as corrosion in the bottom reinforcing steel bars.
In addition, the cooling tower steel support on the roof shows signs of corrosion and needs repair and maintenance, the report states. The exhaust duct support by the elevator machine room needs repair or replacement. A column crack was found at a column by the east tower at the pool deck that requires moderate to significant concrete restoration. And ASD stated that “heavy duty shoring is required to support the structure to facilitate the repair of the reinforced columns” in the building and that “shoring shall be designed to support the loads of all floors above.”
In spite of the menu of essential repairs, ASD stated that the deterioration has not yet compromised the structural integrity of the building. “Therefore, we certify that the building is structurally safe for continued occupancy while the concrete repairs are performed,” ASD wrote, adding that the condo association must submit all necessary repair documents and specifications to the North Miami Beach building department within 45 days.
A separate new report from Allcir Electric of Hialeah found that the building’s electrical system is generally good and safe for occupation while repairs are being made, although the electrical panels for five units needed work done.
Sorey told The Real Deal that the city of North Miami Beach needs assurances that the tower is not only safe for people to dwell in, but that the condo association has the funds to perform the needed repairs to the 10-story building that was constructed in the early 1970s.
“It looks like there is going to have to be repairs to that building, no matter what,” Sorey said. “We need to know that the condo has the financial capability to pay for these improvements.”
Last Friday, more than 300 people were evacuated from Crestview Towers Condominium after the city received an engineering report from the association, dated January 11, declaring that the building was structurally and electrically not safe “for the specified use for continued occupancy.”
That overdue report, compiled by Roberto Barreiro of B&A Engineering Services, was requested by the city on June 29th, five days after the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South. Local governments throughout Miami-Dade are reinspecting older buildings in the wake of the disaster.
Mariel Tollinchi, an attorney representing the Crestview Towers Condominium Association, said her clients have submitted reports to the city arguing that the building can be occupied while the needed repairs are conducted.
“There is a plan of action we have been working on, not just for recertification and inspections, but bids for the job,” Tollinchi explained. “A lot of companies can’t give a proposal just with a superficial examination. We need to do a more thorough inspection that will take one or two weeks.”
Four unit owners sued the association on Wednesday for allegedly failing to make repairs, despite collecting assessments. The association also allegedly failed to complete a Miami-Dade County requirement for a 40-year recertification, due in 2012, according to the suit.
This isn’t the first time Crestview has come under scrutiny. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department has cited the association 18 times for various fire code violations between 2012 and 2020, reports show.
North Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Rand confirmed that he has been contacted by several Crestview residents alleging that the current and past condo associations were misappropriating funds. Those allegations are now under investigation by the North Miami Beach Police Department, which has also reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s economic crimes unit and the state’s Department of Professional Businesses and Regulation. “We will look at some of these allegations,” Rand said. “At this point I have no evidence and no knowledge that [the allegations] are even true.”
On Friday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., residents — many of whom are renters — will be able to obtain more of their personal belongings. However, only one person per household will be allowed in the building; only one person will be escorted by police at a time; and that person will only have 15 minutes to obtain any items that weren’t grabbed. Residents won’t be allowed to transport furniture.