Residents of an Oak Park apartment building have until midnight Wednesday to vacate the premises after the city raised concerns about warped floors, building management said.
A full inspection of the 55-year-old building is required to assess whether anything must be corrected to ensure the structural integrity of the building at 930 North Blvd., according to Eric Weber, one of the owners of 33 Realty, which manages the building. That will take weeks and requires people to vacate the 48-unit building in the meantime, Weber said.
“The safety and well-being of our residents is our only priority,” said Weber, whose company took over management of the building just two months ago. “Every resident has been contacted in person or in writing. And they’ve been notified they have a place to live.”
A village official told the Wednesday Journal that the village ordered the evacuation “because we have enough concern that the building is compromised and it could collapse.”
The building was built in 1966. The problem was first identified October 22, when a building inspector with the Village of Oak Park did a routine visual inspection of the seven-story building, according to a village email sent to the building’s owners. The inspector pointed out a concern about warped floors sloping about 3 or 4 inches in front units and back units of the building, as well as a cracked concrete floor in a rear unfinished unit. The inspector also noticed a “large structural repair” on a first-floor concrete beam and requested further information about the building.
On Oct. 27, Oak Park officials required an engineer report no more than a year old to be sent by Nov. 5 at 1 p.m., confirming that the building is structurally sound.
A structural engineer hired by building management noted similar concerns in a follow-up inspection, Weber said, but couldn’t render a complete opinion without doing a full analysis. That process will take three to four weeks and might require opening up the floors to examine the building’s structure.
Building management did not meet that Nov. 5 deadline, leading the village to deem the building in “imminent danger of failure or collapse,” according to an email sent to 33 Realty later that afternoon. The village required 33 Realty notify all residents by 5 p.m. that day, come up with an evacuation plan and do so before midnight Wednesday.
Weber said it is “100% our hope” that residents will be able to move in shortly after the full analysis is complete, but 33 Realty and the building’s owners will do any work required before bringing residents back.
“Until then, we have to vacate the building,” Weber said. “This is a safety issue.”