Coral Gables

Coral Gables Building Deemed Unsafe Hopes To Stop Evacuation

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A building in Coral Gables is hoping mitigation efforts will stop an evacuation scheduled for Monday.

The building is set to be evacuated Monday because of structural concerns pending an inspection.

Residents at 730 Coral Way have until Monday to leave, according to notices placed in the front entrance of the building on July 19 and 20.

"We should have done something about it, but dind't," Larry Silvester, the new condo association president, said. "But we are doing something now."

A statement from the City of Coral Gables said that the evacuation will be enforced Monday if emergency measures were not taken. Something the condo is trying to avoid by shoring up the structure.

A letter addressed to the condo association Saturday called the final notice of emergency action for the 11 unit building.

The notice said the Greenways Condo Association had not submitted the report from a structural engineer advising whether or not the building is safe to live in.

According to the notice, the city asked for the report twice.

Liz Cortez, who lives close to the three-story building was surprised and concerned that there may be a rush to judgement for some buildings given what happened in Surfside.

“We have to be careful with our buildings and we have to take care of the problems that we have, Cortz said, "but in other ways I think they’re rushing to make problems in all the buildings.”

She went on to say that she hopes the problems are resolved soon.

“We’re concerned but we have to take care of the problem that we have. That’s the most important thing," Cortez said.

In a statement, Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago said that the Chief Building Inspector did a visual inspection that "additional action was necessary." After receiving a four-year old report, it was determined that the recommendations were not taken and an additional inspection was made which determined that immediate measures were needed.

"This situation is a reminder to all buildings and condominium associations that it is crucial that all structures are properly maintained on an ongoing basis,' Mayor Lago's statement said. "This building was not due for recertification for five years."

The City’s building official will visit the building on Monday to see if the emergency measures were taken and in case an evacuation is necessary, the Coral Gables Community Foundation and United Way will assist residents in need of social services.

The mayor's statement finished by saying that the city will be sending notices to all buildings 30-years and older offering courtesy inspections by the Chief Building Inspector.

This all comes just days after residents in a Coral Springs building were given days to evacuate.

July 24th also marks one month since the shocking building collapse in Surfside. The tragedy has forced building officials across South Florida to take closer look at older structures.

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