A luxury downtown St. Petersburg apartment building at the center of a 10News Investigation failed to fix any of the code enforcement violations found by inspectors, according to Director of St. Petersburg Codes Compliance Assistance James Corbett.

The city had given 930 Central Flats until Sept. 7 to fix the violations.

“We inspected 930 Central on September 9 and found that all violations still exist,” Corbett told 10Investigates in an email Wednesday.

The owner will now go before the Code Enforcement Board, which will decide what penalties the company could face.

But it won’t go before the board until Nov. 20.

Corbett said this was the earliest the city could get it onto the agenda for the Code Enforcement Board, which has hearings once a month, and still meet the requirements for notice.

That means the company has two more months before it could start facing any penalties, like daily fines.

Bainbridge Companies finished construction on 930 Central Flats less than a year ago on St. Pete’s thriving Central Avenue.

The building is owned by B A B 930 Central Flats Owner LLC, which has the same West Palm Beach address as Bainbridge Companies.

Both elevators at 930 Central Flats have been broken for more than a month, after the first level of the building’s garage flooded during a rainstorm.

That left renters like Carey Hooper, who is seven months pregnant, struggling up to her sixth-floor apartment after a long day at work.

“I’m a little nervous, if anything happens, how I’m going to get out of here. How I would walk down seven flights of stairs in an emergency. How every time it rains, the stairwells are wet, and there [are] puddles, and I’m carrying my child up and down the stairs, already unsteady from the pregnancy,” Hooper told 10Investigates last month.

Hooper said her family is now staying with a friend and has hired an attorney.

Invited inside the parking garage by a tenant, 10News saw crumbling concrete at the base of some support beams, as well as the floor lifting up around those beams.

St. Petersburg Code found the following violations on Aug. 13.

  • Spalling concrete southwest corner of garage
  • Uplift of parking floor
  • A certified engineering report is required to ensure the building is structurally sound
  • Elevators at the property must be in sound working condition.
  • P.V.C. pipe at the southwest corner of lower level garage in disrepair

Code Enforcement wrote, “A certified engineering report is required to [e]nsure building is structurally sound.”

Since then, two engineers have inspected the parking garage – one hired by Bainbridge Companies and one hired by the city.

Both engineers found the damaged basement slab in the parking garage does not threaten the structural integrity of the building.

“The contractor has submitted two permit applications to repair the damaged slab in the parking garage. Both permits are denied at this time for additional information and product specifications,” St. Petersburg Planning and Development Services Building Official Donald Tyre told 10Investigates in an email. “A separate permit is required for the elevator repair. I agreed to expedite this permit review when the elevator control parts arrive and the contractor submits the permit application and drawings for that scope of work.”

Corbett told 10Investigates an attorney representing Bainbridge Companies told him the owner ordered a part from Germany to repair the elevator.

10Investigates reached out to a spokesperson for Bainbridge Companies about the missed code enforcement deadline and got this statement:

“We are happy to share that one of the elevators at 930 Central Flats passed inspection earlier today and is now currently online. We are working closely with the City to get the second elevator online as soon as possible. Additionally, approximately three-fourths of the garage has been reopened. We are working through the repair permit approval process with the City in order to open the remaining portion.

The Bainbridge team has been in continuous discussions with City Officials throughout this process. Bainbridge requested an extension to complete the necessary repairs to meet all code requirements and the City confirmed we had more time to complete the repairs beyond the original set Sept. 7, 2019 date. However, our goal is to complete all repairs as soon as possible.

This heavy rain event was highly unusual and we thank all our residents for their understanding and cooperation as we work diligently to get 930 Central Flats back to normal as quickly as possible."

Do you have a consumer concern? Want us to look into something for you? If you do, you need to turn to 10! Email TurnTo10@wtsp.com.

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