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City Of North Miami Beach Orders Immediate Closure, Evacuation Of 156-Unit Condo

NORTH MIAMI BEACH - A North Miami Beach building Recertification Audit has resulted in the immediate closure of The Crestview Towers Condominium and the evacuation of its residents.


"What they're saying is safety first, since they know about it today or this afternoon, they had to shut down everything," said Harold Dauphin one of the more than 100 residents who live in Crestview Towers Condo.  And, by shut down everything, Dauphin is referring to the evacuation order being issued for his 10 story, 156-unit, condo building on the 2000 block of NE 164th Street in North Miami Beach.

"I was coming home that's when I realize all this commotion and that's when I realized I had to get out.  The police they are standing in front of our doors so you can grab whatever in the short time because we have to get out, they're not leaving your door until you exited," added Dauphin.

The city of North Miami Beach ordered the evacuation out of an abundance of caution, in the wake of the deadly Surfside condo collapse, after receiving an engineer report for the condo's 40-year inspection certification showing multiple safety concerns.

"Crestview Tower submitted a real certification report dated January 11, 2021 in which an engineer retained by the condo association concluded that the 156-unit building was structurally and electrically on safe," said city manager Arthur H. Sorey, III.

City officials say the report document cracks in concrete berms, columns, slabs, and walls and as well as several electrical panels that are in need of repair, and as a result the building was deemed unsafe. News that came as a surprise to some residents who say they saw nothing wrong.

"I am renting, and I don't know what's going on, no one tells me what was going on here, this was a surprise I thought the building was fine," said Crestview Tower resident Silvio Martinez.

But others like Ebony Stvil disagreed.

"My friend used to live there, and she use to tell me a lot of things were not fixed and like certain things were leaking and certain things they just didn't do," added Stvil.

Saskia M, agreed.

"I experienced something with the electrical, like the lights going off, it was weird, but I feel like it the building wasn't unsafe."

Still others like Dauphin said while he didn't know there were concerns, the building had visible wear and tear.

"If you walk around, you'll see some cracks on the walls and stuff like that, that they're supposedly fixing or trying to fix but again nobody knew it was unsafe. I didn't know the building was deemed unsafe since January and now we're on July 2, it makes no sense, six months later and you know it was unsafe. So, I understand the call that the city made to shut it down," Dauphin.

City officials say they only found out about the January 11 report after initiating the building Recertification Audit that began because of the Surfside collapse.  Officials say because of the audit they discovered Crestview Towers had not turned in its Recertification documents.

They say after multiple requests the condo finally provided the report on July 2 and the building was shut down hours later.

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