NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents of Crestview Towers are eagerly awaiting when they can get back into their homes, but for now, city officials are giving them a chance to go back in and get their belongings.
“My dad just woke me up saying, ‘Hey, everybody’s going to the building to get their stuff and we gotta go,'” said a former resident.
A steady stream of suitcases, duffel bags, carts and wagons rolled in and out of Crestview Towers on Wednesday, as the City of North Miami Beach and the Condo Association agreed to let residents back in the building one more time.
“If it takes them an hour, if it takes them two hours, whatever it takes them to fill up their moving trucks and get their stuff out of here, if that’s what they want to do, that’s what we’re going to allow them to do,” said North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony Defillipo.
Moving forward, appointments will be required for residents to come and pack their bags. Two appointments are allowed per day.
Joey Rodriguez is prepared to move out for good.
“We haven’t been able to get really anything in three weeks,” said Rodriguez. “They said, ‘Hey, call this number, you know, they’re gonna be able to help you out.’ The number of the building, no one answers the phone, you know. They respond to emails sparingly. It’s just really difficult.”
He said the last few weeks have been a confusing waiting game. He’s ready to get his stuff and go.
“You know, just things that we use every day and that you don’t notice you need until situations like this,” Rodriguez said.
City leaders shut down Crestview Towers and evacuated residents on July 2 when an engineering report surfaced finding the building structurally and electrically unsafe.
As people left Crestview, a familiar face surfaced.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle was at the site. She didn’t specify why, but she did stress the importance of the grand jury investigation into the Surfside condo collapse.
“They are interested in seeing if there were things that could be done, actions that should be taken, laws that should be changed in terms of how do we prevent any future Surfsides happening,” she said.
An attorney for the Crestview Condo Association said they’re working with the city to map out a plan for a long list of repairs.
“It’s a bit ludicrous to think that to expect the association to fix every single thing that needs to be repaired before residents get back home,” said Mariel Tollinchi.
“As soon as the association gets their stuff together and complies with the light and safety issues and when those things are done, then obviously they can move in,” Defillipo said. “These things need to be addressed before anyone else can come in there.”
For residents who want to make an appointment to get their belongings, call 786-401-6727.
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