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Maison Grande Condominium Association: Pending city permits delay repairs

Miami Beach condo association blames delays on repairs on city’s ‘slow’ turnaround on permits
Miami Beach condo association blames delays on repairs on city’s ‘slow’ turnaround on permits

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The building collapse in Surfside concerned residents at Maison Grande Condominium who said they are worried about “unsafe structure” warnings. As the search for survivors at Champlain Towers South continued, the president of the Maison Grande Condominium Association blamed the delays in repairs on the city’s “slow” turnaround on permits.

According to Melissa Berthier, a spokeswoman for the city, The Maison Grande Condominium applied for a 40-year permit on May 13 and there was a 90-day window to provide an inspection report to the city. Lilly Ann Sanchez, the president of the Maison Grande Condominium Association, said Berthier was wrong and added that the accepted 40-year certification letter from the city was issued in April 2015.

On Thursday, Berthier confirmed “a clerical error was identified and a permit was issued on May 26, 2021″ for the building.

“We use a red placard when a building violation is posted, which provides the language ‘unsafe structure’ per the County Code. This does not necessarily mean the building is unsafe or in imminent danger,” Berthier wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday.

Residents of other 'unsafe' structures fear outcome of Surfside building collapse

A violation was first issued in November 2020, and the city was not pursuing compliance on non-life-threatening complaints due to the complications that arose during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Berthier.

Maison Grande at 6039 Collins Ave. is far from Champlain Towers South. On Tuesday, the condo association president said the violations are already being corrected. The association has been waiting on city permits for concrete restoration in the garage and pool since Feb. 16. There is also a 3-month delay on permits to repair a 72-square-foot area in the ceiling of the penthouse level.

Maison Grande’s condo association also plans to install a new sprinkler system and smoke detectors by November. Records show Maison Grande was built in 1971 and passed its 40-year recertification process in 2013. An engineer deemed the building “structurally sound” and determined the deterioration of concrete was minor and cosmetic and the rebar corrosion in some balcony slab edges was minor.

The association hired Hollywood-based Coast To Coast General Building Contractors to make the repairs on the exterior envelope of the building during the recertification process in 2013. Yanieve Levi, the president of Coast To Coast, said the repairs were not as significant as he had anticipated before the work about eight years ago.

“The building seemed to be in pretty good shape,” Levi said on Tuesday.

City officials believe that has changed. The outstanding violations on the building in Miami Beach are linked to alleged evidence of spalling concrete.

Levi said property owners need to be in communication with their board associations and be proactive and ask questions such as, “When was the last improvement? What is budgeted? How are we going to pay for it? Do we plan on reserves?”

Meanwhile, in Surfside, search-and-rescue teams faced sporadic rain and spontaneous fires at 8777 Collins Ave. The death toll was rising slowly. President Joe Biden will be visiting the area on Thursday.

Related documents: Maison Grande Condominium

Notice of violation

Existing conditions assessment

2013 structural certification

2015 recertification letter

Complete coverage

Crews work in the rubble of Champlain Towers South residential condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on Tuesday

Workers search the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on Monday

Crews work in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after Thursday's fatal collapse. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on Sunday

Workers search in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. One hundred fifty-nine people were still unaccounted for two days after Thursday's collapse, which killed at least four. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on Saturday

Search and rescue workers go through rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla., section of Miami, Friday, June 25, 2021. The apartment building partially collapsed on Thursday. The teams continue to work at the site hoping to detect any sounds coming from survivors. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on Friday

This photo taken from video provided by ReliableNewsMedia firefighters rescue a survivor from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo after the multistory building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla., early Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ReliableNewsMedia via AP).

Coverage on Thursday

Editorial note: This story was updated on June 30 to reflect the city’s response to a Local 10 News’ request for information and the response from Lilly Ann Sanchez, the president of the Maison Grande Condominium Association.


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.