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Miami Beach Condo Tower Evacuated After Inspection Raised Collapse Fears

The Port Royale Building in Miami Beach, which was evacuated Oct. 27.

Residents of a condo building on the same street as the site of last year's Champlain Towers South collapse were evacuated Thursday after an inspector warned a concrete beam supporting the building was on the verge of giving out.

The city of Miami Beach deemed the 164-unit Port Royale condominium at 6969 Collins Ave. unsafe and uninhabitable in an official notice Thursday evening, and residents said they were given two hours to gather their belongings and clear the building, the Associated Press reports.

The 14-story Port Royale, built in 1971, is in the midst of being inspected as part of the mandated recertification process that was updated in the wake of the Surfside building collapse, which killed 98 people. A structural engineer found that a main support beam that should have been repaired almost a year ago experienced shifting and cracks that had severely increased. Additionally, the engineer found the condo tower needed other structural renovations that should have been made 10 months ago, the AP reported.

Miami-based Inspection Engineers Inc. said in a statement that it is making strides to receive a permit from the city that will allow it to shore up the property, which it hopes can be up and running in 10 days. After that, another inspection will take place to determine whether residents can return, the Miami Herald reports.

Residents were seen leaving the building with plastic bags filled with belongings, desperately trying to find a place to stay, the Herald reported. Under a Miami Beach ordinance, the condo association is required to pay for temporary housing for the building's residents for up to three months while the building is undergoing repairs.

The building is 1.3 miles from where the Champlain Towers once stood. Dubai developer Damac Properties bought that site for $120M earlier this year, the proceeds of which went to the families of the victims of the collapse.

Many other older condo associations on the barrier island have looked to sell their buildings to developers in the 16 months since the collapse, opting to leave rather than pay for costly repairs to the existing structures.