OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE: An Osceola County spokesman told Spectrum News 13 on July 1 crews began inspecting all 11 buildings at the Images Condominiums.
This comes two days after officials deemed three of the 11 buildings unsafe.
What You Need To Know
- An inspector saw serious decay in the wood framing in some condos
- It could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make repairs
- Images Condominium tells Spectrum News 13 ‘No comment’
- Spectrum News 13 spots construction crew working on a building
- RELATED: Inspector: Osceola condo buildings had 'serious signs of decay'
Construction crews were spotted on Friday morning at the Images Condominium complex, but then were seen leaving.
We asked the county about a photo taken by resident Kyle Beasley which shows a "stop work order" dated July 2 from an Osceola County building official.
A county spokesman emailed us, "Yes, unfortunately the association has hired a crew to do some work but did not pull permits. County is prepared to expedite permits, but they want to ensure that a contractor is pulling permit to ensure the work is done correctly, so stop work orders were issued. The fear is that unlicensed work could make the problems worse."
Just heard back from County spokesman: Yes, unfortunately the association has hired a crew to do some work but did not pull permits. County is prepared to expedite permits, but they want to ensure that a contractor is pulling permit to ensure the work is done correctly… (1/2) https://t.co/eWGyF1pBsN— Stephanie Coueignoux (@StephanieCNews) July 2, 2021
"It’s very frustrating! They should at least keep up abreast of what’s going on—even if they don’t know all the information," Beasley said.
We reached out to the property manager's attorney and the Homeowners Association's attorney but have yet to hear back.
Letter: Costs could be Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
The county caught wind of the situation at Images Condominium following an email it received by an Oviedo engineering firm that visited the complex in April.
Born Engineers was called out to Images Condominium in Kissimmee in April to look at some sagging floor conditions at the common walkway areas leading the unit entry doors. The owner of Born Engineers, Todd Born, reported what he saw and he also says he never heard back from Images.
Serious decay in the wood framing could be seen on all three levels, according to Born Engineers.
Following a site visit with Born Engineers to Images Condominium in April of this year, Farmer Architect informed Images;— Spectrum News Asher Wildman (@AsherWildman13) July 2, 2021
“These areas are unsafe and in danger of collapse. He (engineer) recommended closing these areas to traffic until further investigation can occur@MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/mTHmrmS08t
Follow up. Not only did an engineering firm tell @OsceolaCountyFl 3 buildings @ Images Condominium were unsafe, but the architecture also told Images; repairs needed will cost 10s of 1000s of 💵 & could easily cost several 100K 💵 depending on the extent of the damage. @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/f0Y8MxeL5Q— Spectrum News Asher Wildman (@AsherWildman13) July 2, 2021
Following the site visit, Born Engineers stated it gave the owner a proposal to inspect and design replacement or reinforcing for the existing framing.
However, Born Engineers stated it never heard back and was last told Images, “would take the proposal and our recommendations under consideration.”
In late June Born Engineers notified Osceola County and also said, “In my opinion what we encountered in our very limited review of the condition is a very serious condition. The walkways are in danger of collapse and could represent a threat to the safety of the public.”
Images Condominiums said “no comment” to Spectrum News 13 when asked about the report and told the news station to leave the property.
However, on Friday morning, Spectrum News 13 spotted a construction crew working on one of the buildings at Images Condominium.
Russell Reitz owns one of the 11 buildings at Images Condominiums, which was built in 1990. His building was not one of the three deemed unsafe. According to Reitz, Images Condominiums management did provide him with some information.
“They said there are also some structural things within the actual apartments,” Reitz told Spectrum News 13.
“He said the repairs should be relatively easy,” Reitz begins to explain. “Depending on what the homeowners association will do.”
In an email also forwarded to the county by Born Engineers, Farmer Architecture notified Images Condominiums and explained the types of repair needed will cost tens of thousands of dollars, and could easily cost several hundred thousand dollars depending on the extent of the damage,
According to Reitz to the building management company on-site did inform him that all 11 buildings on the property were inspected and that only three had issues. Those three are the ones the county deemed unsafe.