Representatives of an engineering firm hired by the residents’ board at the Madison Condominium at 600 Roosevelt Blvd. in Falls Church found a steel beam that was completely corroded and they immediately call City Hall and City engineers condemned the building and the Falls Church Police Department and Office of Emergency Management supervised an evacuation of residents who are now in area hotels, a News-Press source close to the incident has reported.
According to News-Press sources, the F.C. Police confirmed that 12 units in the building needed to be vacated immediately.
Concerned residents of the Madison had voiced concerns for months that cracks and other evidence pointed to undue strain on possible load-bearing parts of the foundation and the carport out front.
This came after reports from owners that they had been informing management about the damage for months with little to no response. Last Thursday, October 27, the annual homeowners association (HOA) members meeting was held with many owners wanting to discuss the cracks on the pillars out front and cracks in the walls of the basement.
Upon arrival at the meeting, representatives of Cardinal Management Group – including a lawyer – told reporters that they were barred entry due to a rule in the signed agreement. When asked about the situation, the lawyer said that everyone declined to comment.
Speaking to condo owners who are part of the HOA, claims were made that concerns with these cracks had been passed to management for months without reply, and according to one owner the damage was only a brief section of the various discussions held during the meeting, with no specific timeline or plan for dealing with the issue. One owner said the meeting was a “Long contentious meeting, mostly about [the] new parking policy. Asked about pillar replacement, they would not give any info and said to “come to the meeting next month and we will answer.”
However, the very next day there was caution tape put up around the pillars out front, and residents of 12 units were evacuated from their homes. Remaining owners are concerned about the partial evacuation and would like to hear more from building management about the timeline and specific repairs required. They worry that they may become displaced as well.
With a close look at the damage, there were cracks along the pillars holding up the carport out front. The basement had cracks covering an entire wall of the mail room, and one owner said that it had almost doubled in size over the last six months. That same wall was sunken and not appropriately lined up with the wall it touched. Other damage in the basement was obscured by management, but an owner who saw it before the obscurement went up claimed there was significant damage to a load-bearing pillar.
After the events of the Surfside Condominium Collapse, renters and owners have due cause to be concerned. That said, with the partial evacuation it appears that Cardinal Management has taken note of the issue and began taking steps to address the damage. Even so, owners are wondering why there was a wait until now to address the concerns that they had been reporting for months.
There is hope that at the November HOA meeting that a clear plan and timeline will be presented to residents. It is their desire to hear from building management that the issue is being taken seriously and that no lives are put at risk.