Miami-Dade building audit leading to dozens of buildings getting tagged for repairs

Hundreds of South Florida high rises are being inspected in the wake of the Surfside building collapse.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of South Florida high rises are being inspected in the wake of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside last week.

Two dozen of those buildings have already been ‘red tagged’ in Miami-Dade County, and two of those buildings, technically under enforcement by the county, are owned by the county.

Both are county public housing complexes that were flagged for outstanding issues with their 40-year recertification process.

They are the Little River Plaza, a five-floor building located at 8255 Northwest Miami Court, and Ward Tower, a 15-floor building located at 2200 Northwest 54th Street.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daneilla Levine Cava’s emergency audit has put multi-family buildings like those two, high on the priority list.

Edward Rojas is the county’s building official and spoke with Local 10 News’ Layron Livingston.

“We’re an organization that does 1000 inspections every single day of the week,” Rojas said. “We do 250,000 inspections every year, so, we’re prepared for these types of assignments when they come.”

Livingston followed up by asking if so many inspections are done on a weekly basis, why are the county buildings on the list?

“The county properties go through the same process as everybody else,” he said. “The county properties, projects pull permits like everybody else, and they follow the same rules.”

Rojas went on to say that those county buildings will be brought into compliance, stressing that not every issue is dangerous structurally.

“The certification looks at electrical components, lighting, parking lot lighting,” Rojas said.

Local 10 has learned that parking lot lighting is the issue at Little River Plaza.

Rojas said the assessments are, and will be, ongoing.

“With the urgency and with the atmosphere that is right now, we’re going to work diligently to bring all of these properties into compliance as quickly as possible,” he said.

The county has deployed a team of building and code compliance staff to conduct its ongoing audit, and hopes to have the audit done within the month.


About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.