Following Florida Condo Collapse, LACounty Inspecting Marina City Club

Writing note on paper - Audit and inspection in oil field operation.

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MARINA DEL REY (CNS) - Responding to safety concerns that have gained heightened attention following last week's deadly building collapse in Florida, Los Angeles County building inspectors were taking a close look today at the Marina City Club condominium complex, which consultants estimate is in need of millions of dollars in repairs.

The county's Department of Beaches and Harbors, which administers the lease for the Marina del Rey land, “has requested repairs be made to the building for several years, however, only non-structural assessments have been conducted at Marina City Club to date,'' according to a statement from the county agency.

According to CBS2, which first reported plans for the county inspection and issues with needed repair work, the probe was expedited at the request of county Supervisor Janice Hahn. It was unclear what motivated Hahn's request, but concerns about building safety have increased following last week's condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida. At least 18 people have been confirmed dead in the collapse, with more than 140 people still missing.

A representative for Hahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Channel 2 reported that condominium owners at the complex were warned earlier this year by the owners' association that the county might red-tag the building -- deeming it uninhabitable -- “unless we begin the process of repairing.''

According to the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, the complex cannot be legally red-tagged without a structural analysis of the towers, but thus far “no thorough engineering assessment of the City Club complex structures has been conducted.'' But according to Beaches and Harbors, lessee Essex Property Trust is now in the process of conducting one.

“Unless and until the buildings are determined to be unsafe, the county has no ability to force homeowners and other residents to move out of the 600 privately owned condominiums and 100 apartments,'' according to Beaches and Harbors.

Essex officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

According to CBS2, there's no immediate indication that the complex on Admiralty Way is in any way unsafe, but the engineering assessment will determine if there's any structural danger.

A report prepared in April by a construction consulting firm concluded that the roughly 50-year-old complex “is in need of significant repairs as many of the building elements, systems and amenities are in poor condition. A substantial investment in the property is required to bring the major building systems and components back to satisfactory levels.''

The report estimated the needed repairs could range from $80 million to $140 million, including structural issues throughout the property, roofing issues, safety and electrical systems.

That estimate is well above the one included in a 2018 report by a different consulting company, which concluded the complex needed repairs costing as much as $45.4 million. The repairs cited in that report included structural repairs to the parking structure, piping replacement and roofing repairs.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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