City Ultimatum: Following Engineering Report Citing Structural Concerns, City Gives David William 6 Days Or Face Forced Evacuation

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]

As Gables Insider has reported previously, the David William has long suffered from issues with flooding in its garage, calling into question its structural integrity.

This week, a new concern arose. RH Engineering submitted an engineering report to the Home Owner’s Association Board and management with numerous issues surrounding the building’s rooftop pool and the potential damage this may have caused.

The City finally took action on this on February 3rd, posting a notice on the building, giving the David William until February 9th to submit a letter from a structural engineer confirming the building is safe for occupancy. Click here to see page 1 of notice. Click here to see page 2 of notice.

The Inspector’s Report

The report repair recommendations reads as follows:

  1. “Concrete repair to surrounding structural members associated with the terrace area joists, slab, and columns is required.
  2. Concrete repair to the pool structure is clearly required.
  3. But there are concerning results from this in-depth analysis of the pool existing conditions which are:
    a. Existing concrete strength is deficient.
    b. Chloride ion content in the concrete is high.
    c. No waterproofing admixture in the concrete.
    d. Membrane liner has failed as evidenced by the large number of water leaks below the pool surface structure.
    e. Existing concrete damage to pool is estimated to exceed 50% of the pool structure with approximately 65% of the pool requiring repair.
    f. The depth of the pool and associated weight is large. Increasing the weight concern for the building structure is an inconsistent concrete mix used for the pool that varied from the original specifications.
    g. Pool concrete is now approximately 57 years old and with the constant exposure to chlorinated pool water and lack of waterproofing it may have reached its life expectancy.
  4. We recommend that the structure associated with (only) the pool – beams/walls and slab be completely 100% removed and replaced with a newly designed waterproofed structure. This would also allow for the possible reconfiguration of the pool size/depth allowing for reduced weight on the structure.”

Click here to read the full report from RH Engineering.

The report adds that, “based on the size of the pool there is approximately 38,470 gallons of water in the
pool which equates to a weight of 320,840 lbs.” The David William did not immediately empty the pool, rather waited until after the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend (January 15 to 17) to do so.

Even more concerning, reports to Gables Insider are that RH Engineering informed management that the pool needed to be drained immediately on July 29, 2021. The board sent out letter that pool would be drained on August 2, 2021.  

On February 3rd, the David William began doing work on the pool. However, according to the City, “The David William has not applied for permits.” The scope of the work is unknown. Emails to management at the David William were not returned.

The report does not outline any structural study beyond the pool deck regarding the potential integrity of the surrounding building structure.

According to some longtime residents of the David William, they are aware of complaints from residents residing below the pool, in 2020, regarding water intrusion into their units. They explain that a City building inspector had been onsite before and made aware of the issue. However, according to the City’s Development Services Director Suramy Cabrera, in an email to Gables Insider on February 3rd, “the City’s Chief Building Inspector went to the site today at the direction of the Building Official.  I am unaware of any of any prior site visits.”

The pool had work done in 2010 according to City permits. However, according to the inspector’s report, no updates were made to the pool or its concrete, which it describes as being 57-years-old.

Residents also reported receiving calls from the inspector disavowing any knowledge of prior visits to the building.

Neither the HOA nor management of the building informed the City of the findings in the report. The City states that “we received the report from a resident on Sunday, Jan. 30.”

Not The Only Current Issue

This is not the only issue currently affecting the David William. Gables Insider has been informed by several residents in the building, that the David William recently installed drip pans in the parking garage due to water intrusion from planters located on the main floor of the property above the garage.

Residents have also reported seeing spalling and cracks on the garage ceiling.

Similarity To Champlain Towers South

As you will recall, preliminary reports about the Champlain Tower South building collapse in Surfside last June, have shown that water intrusion from planters, over the years, probably led to the catastrophic failure of the pool deck above the building’s underground garage. Champlain Towers South was built 17 years after the completion of the nearly 60-year-old David William, 1981 and 1964 respectively.

The City informed Gables Insider it had no knowledge of the issues with the planters and that they did not need a permit to place the drip pans.

New legislation is being discussed in Tallahassee to require that reports such as these be submitted to building departments at municipalities and/or counties in a timely manner to ensure the safety of residents.


With the continued construction in the area, some residents of the David William have voiced concern to Gables Insider regarding the structural integrity of the building if construction continues near the building. At Champlain Towers South, although the final report is still months away, it has been reported that investigators have been looking at whether the structural issues the building had due to the water intrusion were escalated by the vibrations caused with high-rise construction in the neighboring property.

50-Year Inspection

The David William is scheduled to comply with its 50-year inspection in 2023.

UPDATE: Letter from Board to Building Residents

Following Gables Insider’s article, the Board of the David William sent a letter to all residents with the following text:

“Dear Residents:
Yesterday evening, the City of Coral Gables posted the attached Notice of Emergency Action.
As such, we are sending out this communiqué via e mail and we are hand delivering a copy to each resident. Copies were also posted on the bulletin boards.
Our structural engineer will submit the requested letter to the Building Official on Monday, Feb. 7, confirming that the building is safe for continued occupancy.
We also wanted to clarify that the structural engineer has been tasked with providing a plan for the required pool repairs since before the letter of the City was published. Naturally, this is a process that takes time.
Furthermore, it goes without saying that the pool area remains cordoned off with the pool drained as it has been since August 2, 2021, following our engineer’s advice.
It is important to note that the health and welfare of all occupants has been and will always remain the top priority here at the David William.
We will provide all residents with a copy of the structural engineer’s letter to the City next week that will further clarify the situation.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Alejandro Garcia, President”


16 thoughts on “City Ultimatum: Following Engineering Report Citing Structural Concerns, City Gives David William 6 Days Or Face Forced Evacuation

  1. I would like further clarification on the headline regarding the potential for these owners to “face forced evacuation in 6 days.” I personally know several DW residents, and to my knowledge, not one received any notice about a defined evacuation timeline, nor does this article provide the evidence to suggest such a thing.

  2. I am sure this building has had to have its 40 and 50 year inspections as required by the City. I would be interested to see the results of the 50 year inspection and know what was required to be fixed at that time. I am sure a 60 year inspection is due in the next 3 years as well, according to the dates provided in the article.

  3. True that Lourdes W. Biltmore II Condo and Gables La Roc are undergoing HUGE renovations – they have MANY issues. And what about 700 Coral Way…they’re taking down ALL the balconies!! What in the world! But we hear crickets on this Gables Insider. Yes, it’s only David William this and that. I’m so tired of this. However, those buildings probably don’t have a rat(s) residing there either.

  4. Ignorance or simply Malice?

    No one has accused The Gables Insider with any type of fabrication. The heading in the ad is just constructed as “Alarming” for the purpose of being eye catching.

    Unfortunately, it’s states “structural concerns”, very misleading and open-ended. The Engineer’s report is for the POOL AREA ONLY. In my opinion, the heading of the article should have mentioned this clearly.

    As previously stated, some of the allegations are not truthful and it’s not fair to alarm the residents with false information.

    It’s obvious that “CC & Curious” want to create problems for others, maybe they have ulterior motives and that’s very sad.

    You will see the City will remove the “so called warning notice” and that will be that.

  5. When I first read the heading of this piece I thought WOW whoever wrote this really wants to ALARM PEOPLE! The issue David William has is with the pool, which is being taken care of and ALL residents have known this. Just like Biltmore II Condo, next door, and Gables La Roc near by, aging buildings need some renovations from time to time. This is normal. Why David William keeps being singled out is beyond me? The property management and HOA do a GREAT job…that’s why we bought here. Have a nice day everyone.

  6. The information you’ve published is a LIE. The board of directors CLOSED the pool on August 2, 2021. Owners have spent millions of dollars over the past 5 years improving and updating the building. Your continued trashing of the building has only two results, destroying the property values of the owners and scaring them to death. Stop it! Good journalists check their facts before printing erroneous information.

  7. Funny how this article based on an engineering report is being called fictitious. Do y’all think the Gables Insider fabricated the report? Feeling sad for the condo owners. I hope they will act in the report so as not to suffer the same fate at Champlain Towers.

  8. Oh please! The City is covering their behind, that is all. They have the 40 YR re-certification from 2017 and the 50 YR as well. Alarming elderly residents, for personal interest, is outrageous and shows the true colors of selfish individuals. As fast as the City issued the notice, they will be removing it, as there is no issue with the structural integrity of the building.

  9. If the David Williams Association and Management were always doing an “incredible job”, please explain why the City issued a “Notice of Emergency Action”?

    The commentators defending the Association and Management do not in any way blame the City for issuing the Notice of Emergency Action. .

    The commentators defending the Association and Management blame the Gables Insider for reporting the Notice. The Gables Insider reported the Notice with documents and supporting facts. That’s the way the news should be reported.

    Bottom line is the commentators blame the Gables Insider for exposing their mis-management. They don’t like the exposure. Exposed, they don’t look too good.

  10. First of all, please be advised that the David William Hotel Condominium is structurally safe. A letter confirming this information has been provided to all residents and will be provided to the City. This was always known to the residents.

    It’s very sad that numerous elderly residents have been unnecessarily alarmed by this article.

    I personally believe the Gables Insider is a great source of information and they are very fair. However, I would like to see them clarify that the “so called” residents who have made these claims, are simply that, claims that have not been validated. In fact, some of the claims mentioned in this article, are completely false.

    The pool and deck situation was well known to ALL residents and the Association immediately addressed the issue. If really interested in the truth, a timeline is available, as already provided to the City.

    The Association and Building Management do an incredible job and always address every issue immediately. Their communication is outstanding and they are very knowledgeable.

    The City has the 40 and 50 year inspection reports and interested individuals who are actually looking for the truth, can see the real status of the building.

    The aggressiveness to condemn because of the unfortunate situation that took place recently, is totally inappropriate and irresponsible.

    Claims must always be validated before taken as gospel.

    Let’s be proactive and continue to look out for each other, but in a truthful and responsible manner.

  11. The Gables Insider is not a “rag” and does not promote unfounded conspiracy theories.

    It is objective and fair. Look at the comments it printed from you.

    So, calm down and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather.

  12. Your reporting is exaggerated and false in many instances , we received the report of the pool issues and the work that needed to be done and we residents feel safe stop stirring the pot to sell your rag

  13. “Some residents”? No, just one, in particular. This person loves conspiracy theories when everything has been transparent and IS NOT a major issue in any way shape or form. It is all being addressed. It’s mind boggling this conspiracy theory nut case continues to buy multiple units and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars remodeling in a building this person claims “unsafe”. Very interesting. This building is one of the best maintained buildings in Coral Gables by far! We own multiple units in different buildings in the Gables and there is NO COMPARISON! Oh and this person was also not elected as a board member in the recent election for a reason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *