Responding to resident safety concerns that have heightened following last week’s deadly building collapse in Florida, Los Angeles County inspectors took a close look Thursday at the Marina City Club condominium complex, which consultants have estimated is in need of millions of dollars in repairs.
Inspectors, however, found no immediate threats to the safety of tenants. Mark Pestrella, the county’s public works director, said visual inspections were conducted of “all parking structure floors and corresponding decks making up the support levels of each structure.”
“Inspectors found no situations that would require emergency action or immediate impact to tenants,” he said.
The inspection by county Building and Safety was done at the request of Supervisor Janice Hahn, who said some residents had contacted her following the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, where at least 18 people have been confirmed dead and more than 140 people remain missing.
“I have heard from residents of the Marina City Club who are concerned about the structural integrity of their buildings and, at my direction, L.A. County Building and Safety inspectors conducted an assessment this morning,” Hahn said in a statement. “I take these residents’ concerns seriously, and although I don’t expect that the assessment will find anything to suggest they are in immediate danger, I want to get confirmation that their homes are safe.”
Pestrella said inspectors noted areas where “repair and maintenance” is required, and those findings were relayed to building management, with a written report expected to be completed by next week.
“The property owners will then be required to further investigate and analyze each of the structures using the services of a qualified engineer and develop a comprehensive plan for repairs,” he said.
The county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors, which administers the lease for the Marina del Rey land on which the Marina City Club sits, “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, 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 county 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.
One building resident told Channel 2 she has been worried about safety since hearing about the Florida building collapse.
“I haven’t been able to sleep,” the resident said.
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.