Residents return to 164-unit condo once deemed unsafe in Miami Beach


MIAMI BEACH – Port Royale rolled out the welcome mat on Monday, once again opening its front doors to residents of the 164-unit condominium building on Collins Avenue.

It was late October when residents had to pack their bags abruptly after the city deemed the building unsafe due to two beams on the fourth floor cracking and sagging.

After the condo hired a company to shore up the faulty beams, an engineering firm hired by the building wrote a letter to the city confirming that the beams had been shored up, but acknowledged that they “didn’t not appraised, surveyed or analyzed other parts of the property.”

The city had the building inspected by its own engineers over the weekend. “It’s good for older people who can’t afford to stay in a hotel,” condo owner Marash Markaj said of news that the building was allowing residents to return.

Markaj lived in Port Royale with his family. He was an entrepreneur and designer who criticized the maintenance of the building. He documented problems with the foundation and concerns about standing water and cracks in the concrete.

He says “the building still isn’t safe” and refuses to come back yet.

The building is less than two miles from the Champlain Towers Wouth condo in Surfside which collapsed nearly 17 months ago, killing 98 people.

Markaj took his concerns to the engineer who was hired by Surfside to find out what caused the building to collapse.

“He told me if it was Surfside the building would never open,” Markaj said.

Markaj’s concerns are not shared by the condominium association, which has assured residents that the building is safe. The city agrees that the building is safe.

But Markaj says he won’t return until more tests have been carried out on the building.

“We need more professionals than the city to know what’s going on,” he said.


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