Champlain Towers developer Nathan Reiber, who died in 2014, was once accused of paying off local officials to sidestep a construction moratorium in Surfside in 1979 because of problems with the sewer system, according to WaPo.
Reiber had "contributed" to the campaigns of local officials that granted him preferential treatment when it came to building Champlain Towers South in 1981.
WaPo noted all the principals involved in the design and construction of the building are deceased. Former construction companies that played a role in the construction of Champlain Towers were unwilling to talk about the building collapse.
Meanwhile, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, is the federal agency that investigated the collapse of the twin towers, sent one of its engineers, Fahim Sadek, to Champlain Towers North, a couple of blocks away from the southern tower, to examine basement area and try to piece together the complex puzzle of why the building collapsed.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced over the weekend that residential buildings five stories or higher that are more than four decades old would be examined by the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources within the next 30 days. The goal is to start the recertification process of older residential buildings that have yet begun identifying structural issues.
We noted two reports that were recently completed on Champlain South. The first was a field study conducted by an engineering firm in 2018 that identified structural damage to concrete slabs under the pool deck and cracking and crumbling in the parking garage. However, there was no evidence of imminent collapse. The second was a study from 2020 that outlined the tower was sinking in the 1990s by 2 millimeters a year.
The condo building was already conducting its 40-year recertification repair at the time of the collapse on early Thursday morning.
Investigators are trying to determine if Champlain South experienced structural issues or if other problems developed, such as if soil liquefaction played a factor in the collapse.
Everyone who owns a condo in Surfside is probably asking similar questions. Are sinkholes forming under by condo building? Do we all have the problem as Champlain South?
If so, the power of uncertainty may result in a tick-up in condo listings.
As of early Monday morning, nine people are dead, 152 are unaccounted for, and 134 are accounted for. The missing are from at least nine countries, including six South American countries. Rescuers worldwide have come to Surfside to lend their support and expertise in search and rescue operations.