Officials in North Miami Beach, Fla., evacuated a five-story apartment building April 4 after an engineering survey revealed excessive deflection in multiple floor slabs.

The owners of Bayview 60 Homes, a 60-unit structure alongside a canal in the city’s Eastern Shores section, asked city officials for the emergency vacate order, based on an April 1 report from B.P. Taurinski Structural Engineers, a Boca Raton, Fla., consultant that had been conducting an owner-commissioned investigation “in an attempt to restore the structural integrity” of the building.

The report, signed by structural engineer Brownie P. Taurinski, stated that elevation points of the second and third floor slabs taken that morning by general contractor U.S. Structures Inc., Miami, indicated deflection exceeding American Concrete Institute guidelines for two-way slabs. The engineer advised the owners that “the building structure is structurally unsound and must be evacuated immediately.”

Taurinski did not respond to a request for comment. Bayview 60 had been undergoing repairs since July 2021 in advance of the building’s upcoming 50-year recertification inspections. Miami-Dade County mandates that, for continued occupancy, buildings undergo recertification at 40 years and every 10 years thereafter.

North Miami Beach building officials were copied on Taurinski’s report, which reportedly arrived via email after city offices had closed for the weekend. According to a city statement, all but five units were occupied when the evacuation order was issued April 4.

Repair or Demolish

Spokesperson Susset Cabrera says the city will give the property owner two to three months to decide whether to repair or demolish the building. Absent a plan of action, Cabrera adds, the Miami-Dade County Unsafe Structures Board will consider ordering the structure's demolition.

“This process takes a few months since the board will need to review all paperwork and documents associated with the current state of the structure,” Cabrera says. “Eventually, the board decides whether to allow the city to demolish the property.”

Bayview 60 Homes is the second North Miami Beach multi-unit residential building evacuated since the deadly June 24, 2021, collapse of the oceanfront Champlain Towers South condominium in nearby Surfside.

The following week, the city ordered residents of the 10-story Crestview Towers condominium, also built in 1972, to leave due to structural concerns. Structural repairs got underway there recently, and that building has notreopened.

The Surfside collapse has heightened concerns about the safety of mid- and high-rise residential structures beyond southeast Florida, where a two-phase recertification process is already in place. Last month, the state legislature rejected a proposal to set statewide minimum structural recertification inspections and post-occupancy whole building safety inspections.

4/6 — This article was updated with more current information Bayview 60's possible demolition and the status of Crestview Towers.