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North Miami Beach Apartment Building Condemned, Residents Forced Out

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Residents of a North Miami Beach apartment building have been told to pack up and leave after it was deemed unsafe.

About 60 families live in the five-story Bayview 60 Homes, at 3800 NE 168th Street, which was condemned around 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The residents were informed Monday afternoon that they would have to leave within 24 hours.

"I've had my whole livelihood in there and you have to take it out within an hour or two. So it's kind of astonishing. This is where I grew up. You have to figure out what's important to you, what's not," said Sebastian Rojas.

Tuesday morning, residents stuffed their belongings into suitcases, garbage bags, pickup trucks, and U Hauls to begin the move.

"At this point, we're just getting what's important. The most we can take," said Florencia Gomez.

She used to live in the building with her mother and brother. When she moved out and they remained.

"It's honestly devastating. We've been here for seven years, I basically grew up here, so it's tough," she said

The property owner had been repairing units since last July in preparation for the building's upcoming 50 Year Recertification inspections. During this process, the property owner and the city received a letter from the structural engineers advising of critical structural issues and that it must be evacuated immediately because the "deflection in the (floor) slabs is exceeding the ACI (American Concrete Institute) guidelines for two-way slabs."

"It's hell. It's crazy and the craziest thing is the building manager moved (out) three days ago," said Giovanni who was helping his sister move out.

Gomez said she wished they had been given more notice.

"It's terrible because we only have a few hours, it's not even a full day, not three days, not even 24 hours, so it's tough, yeah," she said.

All residents of the building will receive a full refund for April rent and get their security deposits back.

Families are able to pick up small belongings and personal items until 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Beginning Friday, they will be allowed to return for larger furniture pieces and additional belongings, according to city officials who said they will be scheduled on a per floor basis until next Tuesday. They said the building must be completely vacated by next Tuesday. The building is expected to be torn down.

The city has set up a hotline for those who have questions, it's (305) 646-9101.

The Red Cross is helping to find them new places to live.

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