Local Condos Unsafe; Owners Face Big Fees

Article Courtesy of

First Coast News

By Victor Blackwell
Published May 14, 2008


JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Residents in a Southside condominium community are being warned that parts of their home could collapse at any moment.

The condominium association at the Reserve at Pointe Meadows alerted the homeowners that the balconies are unsafe.

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According to the letter:

"... it has become clear that a large percentage have experienced potential loss of structural integrity and load bearing capacity while others exhibit evidence of significant water intrusion."

"We got the letter about three or four days ago, that said no one can stand on the balcony, because it's fixing to fall off. It's dangerous," said Tony Hernandez.  He owns two units in the complex.

According to the president of the condominium association, engineers found improperly installed flashing and water barrier paper.  In some cases, water barrier paper was missing.

"We've actually been trying to sell our condo. Since the wood rot, we haven't been able to go onto our balcony and they've actually cut into the ceilings. It looks really bad and people aren't buying," said owner Melanie Rodriguez.

Repair estimates are steep.  According to the association, the cost could range between $10,000 -$30,000 per unit.

Crews have begun shoring balconies and stairwells in the community.

The Reserve at Pointe Meadows was converted from an apartment community in 2004.  There are 350 units.

Alliance, the community's developer, also hired Hardaway Construction to build Reserve at James Island.  They are now surveying that community.  According to the company's vice president, there have been no reports of problems.

Hardwick & Company hired Hardaway Construction to build Promenade at Palencia in St. Augustine and Dunes Club Villas on Amelia Island.

"Hardaway [Construction] is a reputable company and I've had a very good experience with them," said owner Jim Hardwick.

According to the Hardaway Construction website, the company also built River Place Condominiums on Amelia Island.
They are considering a law suit against Hardaway Construction.

Our calls to Hardaway Construction were not immediately returned.

Residents will meet with engineers, attorneys association board members Thursday at the University of North Florida.

The meeting is scheduled for 7pm.

According to the Hardaway Construction website, the company also built River Place Condominiums on Amelia Island.