home >  8-31-2021

   SOURCE:  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/us/miami-building-collapse-surfside.html

The Champlain Towers South condominium, right, before it partially collapsed in June.Credit...Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images


An advertisement for the Champlain Towers that appeared in The Miami Herald in 1980.

Nathan Reiber

After court proceedings that dragged on for years, Mr. Reiber pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in 1996. Family members of Mr. Reiber, who died in 2014, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

But public anticipation was building. A newspaper ad for the unfinished buildings claimed that only 27 residences remained available. “Get the best — while they last,” it advised.

By the end of the summer, the developers hired a new permanent contractor, Arnold Neckman, and in August they applied to add the new “penthouse” floor to each property, raising the buildings from 12 stories to 13.

Mehrdad Sasani, a professor of engineering, said the penthouse addition wouldn’t explain the cause of the collapse, but that it could have exacerbated a failure elsewhere.Credit...Maria Alejandra Cardona for The New York Times

A month later, in November, the town appeared to approve the added-on penthouse permit, although it is unclear who signed off on the idea. Two weeks later, the police chief, serving as the interim town manager, sent a curt memo ordering the contractors to halt work, revoking their penthouse permits.

Chris Jeffers placed flowers on a fence that became a makeshift memorial near the collapse site.Credit...Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

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