Courtesy of the Boca Raton News
Posted June 30, 2005
Banyan Lakes, as one might guess from its name, was
one of the most debris-laden condominium developments in Boca Raton during
last year’s record hurricane season.
In fact, when an Iowa developer purchased and began converting the
300-unit development from rentals last autumn, workers were still removing
fallen banyan trees as potential homebuyers arrived for an open house.
The homebuyers, of course, never dreamed that the Des Moines-based BH
Management would forbid them from putting up hurricane shutters outside of
But that’s exactly what the Iowa developer did at the start of hurricane
season this month, and it’s got some residents fuming.
“People here were losing roofs and windows last fall that cost them a
fortune to replace. To me, anyone in their right mind would have shutters.
I mean, come on, we live in a hurricane state,” said Robin J. Traiger, a
resident of 8273 Thames Blvd., Apt. A.
She added, “It’s disturbing to me that one developer can dictate to
people that they can’t protect themselves. I don’t know how that
person sleeps at night.”
Traiger, a psychotherapist who lives alone, saw the fallen trees and
broken windows when she relocated from Fort Lauderdale last November.
Four weeks ago, when she asked a handyman to do some repairs and put up
plywood hurricane shutters, she e-mailed the property manager for
The manager consulted with the developer and said “no,” but offered to
let her put the shutters inside of her windows.
“That’s kind of crazy,” Traiger said. “If the window breaks,
what’s the point?”
Celeste Il Grande, the property manager working for BH Management, said
the company wants the condos to look attractive until renovations are
complete in six months and the rest of the units are sold.
“Apparently, because they are condos, the developer is not allowing
shutters on the windows at this time. Once it is developed, the membership
can vote on shutters,” Il Grande said.
She added, “A lot of neighbors are concerned, but hopefully we won’t
have any hurricanes this year. I’m flexible, but I was informed that
they don’t want anything attached to the outside of the building right
Il Grande said she had been contracted as the property manager since May
The remaining renovations mostly concern finishing the clubhouse, a
project that will be completed within six months. After that, many of the
units will still need to be sold, a process for which Il Grande could give
On thing is for certain: The development will not be completed and in the
hands of a homeowners’ association before the end of the current
Which leaves the residents, for all intents and purposes, at the mercy of
Banyan Lakes is located between Boca Rio Road and Lyons Road, and is
bordered by Southwest Eighth and Eighteenth Streets.