BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, FLA. (WSVN) - An apartment building in Bay Harbor Islands has been deemed unsafe, and residents were evacuated after officials conducted an inspection on the structure.
Town officials announced Wednesday night the Forum Apartments at 1080 93rd St. was declared unsafe by the town’s building official following an inspection completed on Tuesday.
According to officials, the building is 56 years old and “has been repeatedly cited by the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade’s elevator safety section for numerous violations.”
“The audacity of these people, making me *expletive” wait here,” said resident Chris Corrales.
Corrales and his family, including his pregnant wife, were among those asked to leave the building on Wednesday.
On Thursday, he returned to collect documents and photos despite being on edge to go inside.
“You honestly think I wanna go in there and move my stuff with a moving truck while a building is declared unsafe?” he said.
Reynaldo Morales and his daughter Fabiana had just a few minutes to grab their things and go. They said the building is showing its age.
“The elevator’s not working,” Fabiana said. “There’s a floor that’s kind of, like, broken.”
Officials released a statement that read in part, “The report indicated significant structural defects, and as a result, the structure has been declared as unsafe by the town of Bay Harbor Islands’ chief building official.”
The inspection report was detailed with pictures that showed cracking, holes and other severe damage throughout the building.
“We’re going to a hotel where we’re gonna stay for, like, now,” Fabiana said.
“The owner is not funding or paying any money to the property and fixing whatever needs to get done,” said building manager Eric Pamblanco.
He said the building is in foreclosure.
“Right now, the judge who is set as the receiver on the property has reached out to the court systems to try to figure out what’s going on,” Pamblanco said. “I’m just in shock, as the tenants are as well.”
Pamblanco said he has not been paid for a month and a half.
A total of 24 units are occupied inside of the building.
Some residents are relieved the town is taking action but stressed that they have to move out so fast.
“Come on, let’s go outside,” Reynaldo said.
“It’s kind of stressing because they came super fast and was like, ‘Come on, you gotta get out of the building,'” Fabiana Morales said.
The building resides within a mile of the site of where the Champlain Towers South building once stood. It partially collapsed on June 24, killing over 90 people.
Officials said they are working with charities to support the displaced residents.
Some residents have received housing assistance from Camillus House. It remains unclear where residents will stay after that period is up.
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