The joys of home ownership.
We say that sarcastically after something goes wrong and takes a fortune to fix.
There’s no joy whatsoever for Mainstreet at Bradenton condominium owners and residents at 210 Third St. W.
Make that “evacuated” condo owners and residents.
We feel their pain.
That city building and fire officials ordered the five-story building vacated is the latest turn in an unending case of Murphy’s Law.
What can go wrong next?
After people moved in during 2004, they found the new 36-unit building leaked.
Not a little either.
“Water was coming through the walls — like a waterfall,” one resident told the Herald.
After an engineering/construction consultant confirmed residents’ fears of shoddy construction, condo owners sued the developer, general contractor, architect and engineers in 2007, alleging faulty work and negligence.
n Poor waterproofing of exterior stucco walls.
n Defective sealant around windows, doors and support columns.
n Faultily installed windows.
n Rusted fire sprinklers.
The condo association won a settlement, using it for repairs.
Then last June 23, city officials were inspecting a stairwell repair job and saw the scope of the building’s structural issues.
That they weren’t aware of them until late June raises an eyebrow.
Given the severity of the problems caused by water damage potentially compromising the building’s stability, you’d think someone would’ve alerted the city long ago.
On the other hand, according to a city building official, they’re prohibited by state law from conducting on-site inspections during construction of buildings four stories or higher.
A legal loophole big enough for a condo to fall through?
A private engineering firm did the inspection.
They’re being sued, too.
It’s reasonable to think had city inspectors been allowed to do their jobs during construction, this situation would not have happened.
Now residents have had to find other places to live — and wonder if and when they’ll be able to return to 210 Third St. W.
The evacuation has put repairs on hold, but logic says they’ll resume since all the residents are out of the building.
Of course, further complications, legal or otherwise, could arise, delaying their return even more.
Pray that’s not the case.
These people need a break.
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at email@example.com. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.