Another condo evacuated in Surfside over safety concerns

Residents of a Surfside, Fla., building just a few blocks from where the Champlain Towers South condominiums once stood voluntarily evacuated earlier this month after engineers identified structural problems.

The evacuation of the Regent Palace began on July 9, just one day after an engineer hired by the condo association found issues with the buildings' structural integrity, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to board leader Joerg Dogondke, most residents have left as of this Wednesday with the remainder expected to leave imminently.

The Journal reports that the engineer found problems with 15 columns in the three-story building's parking area. A 2018 report that surfaced shortly after the Champlain Towers South building collapsed revealed that it, too, had structural problems in its parking structure, with consultants describing “abundant cracking and spalling of varying degrees” in the ground-floor garage.

The death toll in the Champlain Towers South collapse has risen to nearly 100 people.

Just a few blocks from the Champlain Towers site, another condo building is deemed unsafe and the residents aren’t taking chances, they’re moving out. Story at 5 on @nbc6.

— Ari Odzer (@ariodzernbc6) July 20, 2021

Dogondke said inspections had been conducted for the past few months in preparation for a possible renovation, but the Regent Palace is likely to be demolished now in light of this news.

James McGuinness, a town building official for Surfside, said the story of Regent Palace was one of success as the problem had been identified and residents had left voluntarily, the Journal reports.

“There’s a new heightened level of awareness for building conditions which we welcome, which we dramatically welcome,” McGuinness said.

“The building has had a good life,” Raquel Martinez, a resident of 25 years, told the Journal. “Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.”