24 Miami-Dade Buildings Facing Violations As County Steps Up Inspections In Wake Of Condo Collapse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade reports 24 buildings have been “red tagged” for violations mostly tied to the 40-year recertification process.

A spokeswoman for the county’s building official told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that they have either not complied with the 40-year process or have not pulled permits or finished the work.

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The county is stepping up its inspections in the wake of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside. A special team of code compliance and building inspectors is involved as Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has announced an emergency audit.

Among the 24 buildings with violations are two public housing complexes run by the county, including Little River Plaza at 8255 NW Miami Court, where there is a reported issue with parking lot lighting, and at the 15-floor building, the Ward Tower, at 2200 NW 54 Street.

That’s where one unidentified resident told D’Oench that she applauded the inspections, saying, “I don’t know what they are doing here but if they are doing it it’s a good thing.”

Another unidentified Ward Tower resident said, “They need more inspections. They need them, for our safety.”

According to the county, other buildings facing violations include Peppermill Condominiums AT 8000 SW 149 Avenue in Kendale Lakes and Lake Park Condominium at 900 NW 199 Street in northeast Miami-Dade.

The focus of the audit is on buildings that are four stories and higher.

On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade mayor said, “We are taking immediate action to identify any issues with the building that have not yet completed the 40-year recertification process. That’s a priority right now. We are proceeding at a pace with all buildings to be identified where we should know in a matter of days or short weeks where we will have addressed all the safety concerns.”

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She said most issues involved electrical, not structural problems.

This week, video surfaced on social media showing a long crack in the ceiling of the parking garage underneath the Maison Grande Condominium building at 6039 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach.

Another social media video showed an apparent crack in the parking garage underneath the Towers of Key Biscayne. The general manager of the Towers of Key Biscayne told CBS4 that that video shows an expansion joint and “not a red flag crack.” The village manager said the village is reaching out to the property owner and hopes an engineer will address the issue.

Inspectors, as CBS4 has seen this week in cities like Sunny Isles Beach, have been busy stepping up their inspections. The county said more than 2,000 buildings are overdue for recertifications.

On Tuesday, CBS4’s Jim Defede spoke with John Pistorino, the engineering consultant that came up with the requirement for buildings to be recertified after 40 years. He said this is an important process.

Pistorino said, “It always finds issues with the buildings that require repairs that they don’t know about. I think it has worked fine all these years. The first thing of course is that we always start to look at some evidence of settlement where the columns settle and see something going on with the foundation. The concrete will crack in a certain pattern. We call them shear cracks. We don’t want to wait 40 years to be looking at buildings. We are supposed to look at them from the day they are built.”

The county’s building official said Miami-Dade conducts as many as 1,000 inspections every day.

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It’s expected the special team conducting the audit will be finished with its work within a month.

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