North Bay Village condo building deemed unsafe, residents ordered to evacuate

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. – Officials deemed a more than six-decade-old condominium building in North Bay Village unsafe Thursday afternoon, forcing residents to evacuate by 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The building, known as the Majestic Isle condominiums, is located at 7946 East Drive.

According to property records, the waterfront building, located on Harbor Island, was constructed in 1960.

Problems cropped up after a building engineer conducted its 60-year recertification inspection Sunday.

“A recent leak from a roof drain caused a partial ceiling collapse last week, and residents from five units were evacuated,” city spokesperson Julie Leonardi said in a statement. “The building engineer shared a report raising serious concerns with the current conditions of the building, citing sagging floors and termite damage. North Bay Village officials went door-to-door notifying residents that the building has been deemed structurally unsafe.”

Leonardi said village officials were informed of the issues in a letter late Wednesday night.

North Bay Village Mayor Brent Latham said its a safety issue.

“Part of the roof did collapse with the recent rainfall, and that’s what triggered the report which has led to the conclusion that the building can’t be inhabited at this time,” said Latham. “The hard part is the effect this has on the individuals’ lives, and how do we deal with and mitigate that.”

The 36-unit building houses 55 residents, Leonardi said.

“Due to last week’s flooding causing a partial ceiling collapse in several units, only 31 units are occupied at this time,” she said. “Residents will be allowed back inside at a later date for a complete move out. North Bay Village Police Department will be monitoring the move out and will conduct it in a staggered fashion, allowing only a few units per day, with light loads.”

Homeowner Lenny Fagundo is one of those residents. He’s owned his unit for 30 years and thinks the decision to evacuate was an abrupt one.

“I believe that they should have done more testing,” Fagundo said. “I think they jumped the gun.”

Officials plan to hold a 7 p.m. meeting with residents to discuss the evacuation.

County officials are looking into hotels in the area to help residents find a place to stay.

Officials have set up a website to help residents.

Local 10 News reporter Annaliese Garcia contributed to this story.

About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.

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.