Order Allows Most Rochester Towers Residents to Return Home
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Most of the residents of the Rochester Towers Condominiums will soon be allowed to return to their homes.
The City of Rochester today announced that the Rochester Community Development Department has approved a request for partial occupancy of the more than 90-unit building in downtown Rochester at the request of the condominium complex's property management company. The approval should clear the way for the people living in all but 12 of the condominium units to move back into their residences.
The entire building was evacuated on June 2nd due to worries that the building was losing its structural integrity. That prompted the city to issue an order deeming it to be unsafe and unfit for occupancy. The nearly 200 displaced residents have been forced to find alternative housing and have only had access to their condominiums on one occasion since the evacuation. They were allowed back inside briefly to retrieve some personal items on June 14th.
Contractors hired by the owners of the building have since stabilized the structure by reinforcing a number of deteriorating support columns. Some temporary shoring work has also been done in more than a half dozen of the condominiums. Others remain "off-limits" because of confinement issues or because the windows have been removed.
City officials say permanent repairs still need to be conducted and the plans for those repairs will need to be reviewed and approved by the city. As the permanent repairs proceed, the people living in the "off-limits" units will be allowed to return when it’s determined conditions are safe.
Earlier reports indicated the permanent repairs to the 50-year-old building could cost in excess of $4 million. The property management firm, First Service Residential, has yet to identify a timeline for the work to begin and reach completion.