Los Angeles, CA

Could the Marina City Club Condos Collapse Like the Tragedy in Florida? A Report Points to Concerns

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith/Gado Images

According to exclusive reporting from CBS Los Angeles, many residents of the City Club condominiums in Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles, California are reportedly worried that their building could be in danger of collapse, much as a tragic collapse claimed the lives of at least 20 people in Surfside, Florida earlier this month.

CBS Los Angeles’ report found that the 50 year old building in Marina Del Rey allegedly has cracks on its roof and potentially cracks elsewhere towards the base of the building, as well as alleged damage from potential water leaks. The report says that “the buildings are deteriorating and in disrepair and residents are worried” and that “Supervisor Janice Hahn asked Public Works to investigate, and the county is threatening to red tag the property if millions of dollars in repairs aren’t made.”

A “red tag” means that a building is structurally unsound and cannot be occupied, according to an industry blog. The City Club condos comprise approximately 600 units, and are considered prime real estate in the Marina Del Rey area of Los Angeles.

The City Club condos are fifty years old, and CBS Los Angeles says that “From the air, CBSLA’s Desmond Shaw captured footage of cracks” on the roof of the building. The report also shares that several residents have allegedly captured videos of cracks and decay on the ground, including in the building’s underground garage.

Although the cause of the tragic collapse in Surfside, Florida is still under investigation, early reports indicate that structural damage to the underground parking lot and roof of that building may have been factors in the collapse. The parallels raise major concerns for residents of the Marina Del Rey buildings, CBS Local says.

According to the report, a 2021 survey of the building’s integrity found that “Nearly all of the waterproofing throughout the property...is failing in some way.” I spoke to an expert who told me that failed waterproofing and water incursion can lead to corrosion which can weaken a building’s structure. Water incursion, as well as cracking in foundations, pillars and other elements of a building, are red flags for potential structural damage, the expert told me. The expert did not have direct knowledge of the Marina City Club building, and was commenting on conditions in California generally.

Several people took to social network Twitter to discuss the building’s condition. Kevin Kendall wrote that “I live in Los Angeles. The Marina City Club condo residents are [expletive] after Champlain South because their buildings have cracks and spalling.” Elizabeth Wallace shared that she had once been on the condo board for the Marina City Club and called the board “amateurs.”

In response to the initial report, the city reportedly immediately sent inspectors to the property to survey its structural integrity.

To be clear, no immediately dangerous conditions have yet been found at the building, although residents are reportedly concerned that a full structural survey has not yet been performed. A follow-up report from CBS Local said that initial inspections this week showed “no situations that would require emergency action or immediate impact to the tenants”, which may put some residents’ minds at ease.

The inspection did say, though, that the property owners must “analyze each of the structures using a qualified engineer” to ensure that dangerous conditions do not currently exist, according to the report. More repairs and retrofits--as well as more inspections--are a possibility for the building, as well as other older buildings in Los Angeles.

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Thomas Smith is an award winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide.

Lafayette, CA

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