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Engineer reports Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach was safe for occupancy, attorney says

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Crestview Towers’ condominium association in North Miami Beach has a report from an engineer saying the building is safe for occupancy and it will be submitted to North Miami Beach officials by Noon on Tuesday, according to Mariel Tollinchi, the association’s attorney.

A Jan. 11 “unsafe” warning to the board from an engineer prompted the North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials to condemn the Crestview Towers Condominium Friday afternoon. Tollinchi said the report was very vague.

“A subsequent inspection was had of the building recently and an unofficial report was released by that engineer saying that the building is actually safe for occupancy and that the repairs on the structure and electrical can be done with the residents there,” Tollinchi said.

Tollinchi said there were delays on repairs because of the coronavirus pandemic and due to a need to have original parts. The 156-unit Crestview Towers Condominium was built in 1972. She also said the board of directors is working on getting the residents back home as soon as possible.

A special commission meeting was held Saturday night at the Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater in North Miami Beach to discuss the evacuation. Arthur H. Sorey III, the city manager, the city manager said that any decision on the building will not be made until Wednesday at the earliest.

Officials ordered about 300 residents to evacuate by midnight Friday. Some residents learned about the order just as they were coming home from work. About 150 residents didn’t have a place to go to.

About 150 residents didn’t have a place to go to. A white North Miami Beach Parks & Recreation bus and a trolley parked outside of the condominium, at 2025 NE 164th St., in North Miami Beach.

The American Red Cross and other organizations helped to set up a temporary shelter at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo Center’s E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion, at 10901 SW 24th St., in University Park.

“This is not something we would ordinarily do,” said Ron Book, who chairs the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “We are in a unique time in this community ... It was our goal to try to find a very quick solution.”

After the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, North Miami Beach officials launched a review of condo high-rise buildings to determine compliance with the 40-year recertification process to determine if it was certified as safe for occupancy.

For more information about the situation at Crestview Towers Condominium, North Miami Beach is asking residents to call 786-589-4056 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Related document: Jan. 11 report

Complete coverage

Friday evening report

North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.
North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.

Saturday afternoon report

North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.
North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.

Saturday morning report

North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.
North Miami Beach building and zoning department officials condemned Crestview Towers Condominium and ordered about 300 residents to evacuate Friday.

Friday evening reports

Friday afternoon report

Residents of a North Miami Beach are told to evacuate a building after it is deemed unsafe after a review in the wake of the Surfside collapse.
Residents of a North Miami Beach are told to evacuate a building after it is deemed unsafe after a review in the wake of the Surfside collapse.

Local 10 News Reporters Janine Stanwood and Joseph Ojo contributed to this report.


About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.