Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett released a letter to the tenants that live in the four-story building he owns in Miami Beach.
Burkett is giving the tenants 45 days to vacate The Lois Apartments, at 2001 Bay Dr., in the Isle of Normandy, so construction can begin on the building which suffered hurricane damage in 2017. There were delays on city permits, and Burkett wants to complete the 40-year inspection.
Residents have been complaining about the damage for years and are frustrated they’re being told to leave. Among their complaints are exposed rebar, missing balconies, apparent concrete dipping, and an elevator they say has “just stopped working.”
“We said to the city, listen we’ve been waiting for the permit and they said well we don’t have any plans or drawings,” Burkett said. “They lost the plans and we’ve been working with the city now to get them copies of the plans. I share [the residents’] frustration. But, you know, it’s one thing to do a small amount of work and have tenants roaming around and living in the building. It’s another thing to do major construction on a building and risk the safety of those tenants. It’s just something I can’t do, and it’s not prudent.”
The repairs are estimated to take 2-3 months. When completed, Burkett said the tenants will be invited back, but during the COVID-19 pandemic where rents are high and availability low, finding a new rental in 45 days simply doesn’t give tennants enough time.