The notice said the company also planned to paint common areas and had renovated the lounge, and acknowledged that recent flooring work had been shoddy. It did not mention the cracked concrete and corroded rebar that the engineer outlined in his report.
Mariel Tollinchi, a lawyer for the condo association board, said the board disputed the need for evacuation, adding that any building that has not completed its 40-year certification is considered “unsafe” even if it’s safe. She said the board thought the engineer’s report had been sent to the city long before Friday.
The report mentioned cracks, she said, but did not note that the cracks were not particularly deep and could be fixed with stucco. Another engineer, she said, has been hired to provide more details.
The board has been working on getting estimates for the repairs. Structural repair estimates came in at $250,000, but electrical work was priced “in the millions,” she said. “Even the general contractor did not agree with the report,” she said of the engineer’s findings. “He said he made it seem worse than it actually was.”
Residents, she said, should be back in the building within 30 days.
They were told on Friday that they could stay at a shelter on the county fairgrounds some 40 minutes away. “I would rather sleep in my car,” Mr. Jiménez said.
He wondered whether the owners, the city, management company — or anyone — would help relocate people like him who could not come up with $6,000 or $7,000 for security deposits and advance rent on another apartment.
“Everything we own is inside,” said Ramaxel Casas, his wife.
Estefania Grajales and her husband, Holman J. Pérez, said they were napping Friday evening and heard about the evacuation order from a neighbor.