Vacate Order Lifted On 730 Coral Way, As City Releases Building’s Troubling 2017 Engineering Report

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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On Friday, July 23rd, just 29 days after the tragic building collapse of the Champlain Tower South in Surfside that claimed the lives of 98 people, the City of Coral Gables gave residents 72 hours to vacate 730 Coral Way.

Sources tell Gables Insider that the City had responded to and investigated reports of potential issues in the building. Following a site visit, city staff requested a copy of recent structural reports. The City was provided a four-year-old report. The contents of the report have been requested by Gables Insider.

The City informed management that the report did not address the concerns and was too old. Staff’s concerns for the safety of the structure lead them to issue a 72-hour order to vacate the premises. If the building is not vacated in 72-hours, the power will be shut off.

On Monday, July 26th, the City’s Chief Inspector visited the site and removed the order to vacate, as management had taken measures to temporarily remedy the issues of concern.

Gables Insider has received a copy of the report submitted by management to the City.

In the report, dated April 22, 2017, engineers from m2e Consulting Engineers list issues of concern, including:

  • inadequate minimum slope requirements to drainage system on the pool deck;
  • cracks were observed through the concrete pavers and joints…with signs of water intrusion and efflorescence;
  • significant corrosion signs with minor deterioration of the finished surface;
  • at the basement parking garage, severe reinforcing steel corrosion, concrete cracks and large areas of spalling concrete were observed at the West wall of the pool, West face. This condition Is a direct result from water intrusion through the pool deck slab and/or the pool walls;
  • several areas of spalllng concrete and exposed steel reinforcement with signs of corrosion were observed at the underside of the pool deck slab…At some Iocations, it appears that some crack or concrete spalling repairs were performed but could not be verified;
  • numerous cracks with signs of water intrusion, efflorescence and calcium formation were observed at the underside of the pool deck throughout areas exposed to the elements above;
  • water marks/stains were observed on top of the basement parking slab, particularly noticeable along construction joints, cracks, area surrounding building columns, at the joint between slab and perimeter basement walls and in the vicinity of the two drains serving the basement parking garage; and
  • exposed and corroded steel reinforcement was observed at the bottom of some concrete columns at the basement parking garage.

Images in the report show the same damage captured by local television crews this weekend, showing the issues had gone unaddressed in over four years.

The bulk of these issues have been reported on over the last month in relation to the Champlain Towers South building collapse. That building has a similar report in 2018, which mentioned issues with corrosion of reinforcing steel, spalling concrete, cracks on the concrete slabs, waterproofing issues on the pool deck, lack of slope on the pool deck, pooling water in the garage and issues with the columns in the garage.

Most compelling in the 730 Coral Way report is the recommendation by the engineers that, “repairs of the cracked and spalllng concrete as well as the corroded steel reinforcement on the West pool wall be addresses without any delays and prior to any other repairs. The present condition of the wall Is may be hazardous and may represent a life safety situation In case concrete pieces get detached from the wall.

The City states that it had not seen this report prior to the site visit last week.

The City of Aventura took action last week to address this issue by mandating that all engineering reports and studies be submitted to the City within 24 hours of receipt by management.

Gables Insider asked the City for a copy of the report from this morning’s inspection, the City responded saying that “the site visit did not generate a report.”

The building, located in front of the Granada Golf Course, is just one block away from the David William, which as Gables Insider had previously reported has been plagued with issues in its parking garage since its construction in the 1960s due to water intrusion issues.

Both the David William and 730 Coral Way are located above the artesian aquifer that feeds Venetian Pool.

As to the David William, the City has assured Gables Insider that “the garage structure which is part of the building was recertified in 2017.” We have requested a copy of the 2017 reports.

Regarding the Granada Golf Course, the City reports that the golf course “was built as a catch basin and flooding is not related to any renovation.”

Gables Insider inquired on whether structural studies were planned for Biltmore Way (which runs above the David William’s parking garage, Granada Boulevard, South Greenway or North Greenway. The City replied, “regarding the integrity of South and North Greenway, Granada and Coral Way it isn’t necessary.”

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