Surfside tower collapse reverberates through Southern California’s HOAs – San Bernardino Sun

When Hirano Teri reads the news Collapse of Champlan Towers Mansion In Surfside, Florida, “the alarm went off.”

Plains and neighbors have been complaining for years about the condition of the iconic 16-story Marina City Club Tower overlooking the harbor of Marina del Rey, their complex here in Southern California.

Like the Champlan Tower, Marina City Club is a dilapidated building by the water. Like Champlain Towers, it has a long list of repairs needed, and one consultant estimates repair costs between $ 80 million and $ 140 million.

But perhaps the similarities end there. After visually observing Marina Tower on July 1, Los Angeles County inspectors said there was no imminent danger of collapse.

Still, the alerts sounded on Marina del Rey buildings could be a sign of jitter that echoes not only in the Florida condominium community, but throughout the country and throughout Southern California.

LA County overseer Janice Hahn called the Florida tragedy a “wake-up call.” At a supervisory board meeting next Tuesday, she introduced a motion calling for plans to evaluate all unincorporated Los Angeles County skyscrapers.

Lawyers from condominium management companies and homeowners’ associations are talking about the impact of the HOA tragedy across the country. HOA boards, residents, and potential buyers are increasingly asking questions about the finances and safety of their buildings. And some wonder if California should consider inspecting old skyscrapers.

“It will definitely send a shock wave,” Tom Freeley, president and chief executive officer of the California Community Managers Association, which represents the company that manages the condominium complex, said in an email. “This affects many, if not all, high-rise buildings and many small buildings with balconies.”

Indeed, in California, authorities are preparing a round of mass inspection, with lower levels of alerts than South Florida, which has already ordered the evacuation of the second residential tower in North Miami Beach.

“It’s unprecedented to know what happened in Florida,” said Westlake Village, which helps the American Homeowners Association determine the amount of reserves to reserve in case of a maintenance emergency. Said Robert Nordlund, founder and CEO of the company Association Reserves. “American buildings will not collapse.”

No inspection required

Approximately two-thirds of California’s 54,782 Homeowners’ Association complex was 21 years of age or older as of 2020, according to figures from San Francisco’s certified accountant firm Levy, Erlanger & Company LLP.

The proportion of old buildings is about the same at 25,389 HOA in Southern California and 12,453 in the Bay Area.About half of The HOA in California manages condominiums, and the rest primarily manages the single-family community.

Still, California doesn’t have requirements like recertification of a 40-year-old building in South Florida, except for a new law that requires inspection of elevated wooden balconies and decks every nine years.The· Rules adopted in Dade County and Broward County Structural and electrical inspections are required to ensure that the old building is healthy.

In California, there is no legal mechanism for examining the structural value of skyscrapers as cities, counties, and state governments age, officials interviewed said.

Jesse Cardosa, Architects and Safety Manager for the City of Irvine, said: “Honestly, given that we are leading the country in building code requirements due to the earthquake, we are surprised that we don’t have it.”

Thomas Sabol, an adjunct professor of civil engineering and environmental engineering at UCLA, added that there are few methods of compulsory re-examination after a residence certificate is issued, except for seismic repairs.

Firefighters overlook the rubble, once a three-story apartment complex in Northridge Meadows. More than 400 people live in the apartment, and 16 people were killed when the ground floor collapsed due to the violent shaking. The death toll at the complex was more than 25 percent of the total death toll in the quake. (Los Angeles Daily News / SCNG)

For example, the cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica require upgrades to the construction of “non-ductile” concrete buildings and “soft stories” with large open areas for parking and show windows on the ground floor. ..

“There weren’t many examples of significant structural damage or distress in the absence of external causes (such as earthquakes),” Sabol said. “But this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

According to Cardoza, city inspectors give them the opportunity to visit skyscrapers to find obvious problems when inspecting remodeling jobs or tenant improvements. The fire department also regularly inspects skyscrapers to ensure they comply with fire safety regulations.

Michael Ross, chief building official at Redondo Beach, said local building inspectors could also act if life-threatening issues were notified. If it is not safe, maintenance work will be required or the building will need to be tagged in red.

“I’m not going to close my eyes to those who are reaching out for problems,” Ross said.

In California, building safety issues are not as rare as people would believe.

About 10 years ago, worried residents summoned Henry M. Coffman to see a dilapidated building in Westwood. The building had a pool in a double-decker garage, like the Champlan Tower. There was a structural crack.

Koffman, a professor at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, said:

Coffman told the Homeowners Association that the situation is dire and that pools and garages require about $ 10 to $ 12 million in work. The homeowner barked. They told him that much of the building lived in social security and couldn’t afford a special assessment of $ 100,000 per unit.

But unlike the situation in Florida— Where the condo board discussed a three-year repair proposal — Kofman convinced them that improvement was essential to the protection of life and limbs.

After the Northridge earthquake, the King Harbor parking lot at Redondo Beach cracked. (Daily Breeze / SCNG)

At Redondo Beach, three multi-storey car parks on the pier have also raised concerns in recent years. According to a 2013 report by Walker Parking Consultant / Engineer, the building on the north side is nearly 60 years old and is nearing its end of service life. The report found that concrete debris had fallen off and rusted rebar was exposed to the elements.

The city has spent more than $ 4 million on pier parking since 2017, extending the useful life of the parking by about 10 years.

According to a recent survey by the Community Association Institute, the Condominium Association needs to inspect old buildings on a regular basis.

“Once the association begins to reach the 30-, 40-, and 50-year standards, we need to anticipate failure (and) high costs,” said Los Angeles lawyer Adrienne Adams. Include The Survey Task Force describes the findings in a YouTube video.

Still, Nordlund — another Task force Members — We do not support the adoption of South Florida’s 40-year recertification requirements here in California. He said the inspection should be voluntary, not obligatory.

“It’s a good habit to encourage,” he said. “I just don’t want the legislators to overreact.”

“A little uneasy”

Most condominium complexes are not ready for maintenance emergencies.

According to Nordland, only three-tenths of HOAs across the country have at least 70% of the amount needed for reserves. Almost the same number of reserves is less than 30%.

If money is not secured due to roof repairs, cracks in the foundation, leaks in pipes, the HOA will have to resort to expensive special assessments. Or, if you qualify, you will need to finance the cost of unexpected repairs.

In Nordlund and other condominium management industries, there are signs that HOA is “a little more worried.” Some people ask if they need to check reserves or perform new safety inspections, he said.

Seabreeze Management Co, based in Orange County, which manages approximately 460 homeowners’ associations in the southwest. Isaiah Henry, CEO of, believes that more customers will want to perform the inspection. Seabreeze’s customer service department Call from residents about the safety of the building.

“I think (the collapse of Florida) shocked our entire industry and shocked our organization at its core,” Henry said.

Kelly Richardson, a Pasadena lawyer who writes a column on HOA legal issues in Southern California newsgroups and other newspapers, said the tower collapsed on the Condo Lawyers email chat board for lawyers representing the Homeowners Association. He said it was brighter in his comments.

“This story is very worrisome to us,” said Richardson. “The kind of concern I’ve seen across the country from Massachusetts to California is what is the responsibility of the association here? What is the responsibility of the directors?”

Motion requires inspection

Complaints about postponement of maintenance have surfaced over the years in the towers and apartments of the Marina City Club, which consisted of approximately 700 units built on county-owned land in the 1970s.

The June 24 tower collapse on the surfside issued a warning between some tenants and owners in the complex, urging TV news reporters to warn.

Marina del Rey’s Marina City Club condos and condominiums have been structurally overseen following the collapse of Florida condos. (Image from Google Maps)

As a result, Hahn and county building inspectors were urged to meet with residents on July 1 to visit the site and respond to a structural engineering report.

“The next day (after the tower collapsed), I was shocked,” said Elenamon Dragon, 55, who has owned a two-bedroom condominium in the center tower of the complex for 20 years. “That’s when I started thinking about what I’m seeing here …. Previously there was a leak there and there was all this noise, and I said, this is what’s happening here . “

Hahn spokesman Liz Odendar has identified many maintenance issues that county inspectors need to address, but said there was no reason to fear the Champlain Tower collapse at the Marina Complex. ..

“They found nothing serious. Nothing puts the inhabitants at risk,” Odendar said.

Marina City Club reviews, on the other hand, may be just the beginning.

Hahn’s motion, scheduled for a supervisory review on Tuesday, July 13, told county officials a certification inspection program for similar old skyscrapers, perhaps in collaboration with jurisdictions such as Los Angeles and Long Beach. We are asking you to investigate the feasibility of. To Champlan Tower.

The motion also calls for identifying old skyscrapers in LA County, where the county is not incorporated, and requesting a structural engineering inspection of old towers in the Marina del Rey area.

“After the surfside disaster, we need to evaluate the skyscrapers in Los Angeles County that aren’t incorporated,” Hahn tweeted recently. “(We) need to prevent a similar tragedy from happening here.”

— SCNG staff writer David Rosenfeld contributed to this report.

Surfside tower collapse reverberates through Southern California’s HOAs – San Bernardino Sun Source link Surfside tower collapse reverberates through Southern California’s HOAs – San Bernardino Sun

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