The city of North Miami Beach ordered the evacuation of Crestview Towers Condominium on Friday evening after a building inspection report found structural and electrical issues, according to Miami Herald.
Two days after the collapse of the 12-story Champlain Towers South beachfront condominium in Surfside, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered all buildings over 40 years old to undergo an "immediate" audit on their structural well-being. As a result, the city of North Miami Beach ordered more than 300 residents of the 10-story Crestview Towers complex with 156 units, located at 2025 NE 164th St., to evacuate Friday evening after receiving a Jan. 11 engineering field study deemed the building structurally unsafe.
"In an abundance of caution, the City ordered the building closed immediately and the residents evacuated for their protection, while a full structural assessment is conducted and next steps are determined," City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III said in a news release.
Crestview Towers is the first major residential structure to be closed after the June 24 Surfside tragedy. So far 22 people have been confirmed dead with 126 people still missing.
Steven Davis, 37, a resident of Crestview Towers for more than two decades, was not surprised by Friday's evacuation: "You just knew that something was going to happen," Davis said, adding that walls and ceilings needed repair.
Last week fears spread up and down Miami by residents who own condos in aging buildings because engineering audits could bring to light millions of dollars in repairs that would jack up homeowners association fees. The audits could also spark an evacuation of their building, and spark a liquidation firesale as owners of older condos seek to sell ahead of regulatory action.