With $10M-plus renovation pending, Shoreline Towers owners seek to recall HOA board

Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News

DESTIN — With their homeowners association board poised to embark on a multi-million dollar structural renovation of their aging condominium, some condo owners at Shoreline Towers on Holiday Isle have requested a recall of the entire governing body.

Mike Kent, owner/manager of Progressive Management of America, the company that has overseen the planning of the building renovation, confirmed a petition for recall had been submitted to the governing board.

"Board members will meet (Thursday) to vote on whether or not to certify it," Kent said. "They will likely vote not to certify because the board and others who have reviewed the documents turned in found irregularities."

With major structural work on the horizon for Destin's Shoreline Towers, a group of owners is attempting to recall the current homeowners association board.

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The board is also expected to be asked Thursday to approve a nearly $80,000 per-unit assessment to cover the cost of the renovation, with an overall price tag estimated at $10 million and $15 million.

Kent confirmed rumors persist that those behind the recall effort oppose ponying up for the renovation.

"Some owners have stepped up to say they were not told the truth about the reasons for the recall effort, and that they remain in favor of doing the necessary repairs," he said.

Shoreline Towers, whose three tallest buildings are 45 years old, is in need of a great deal of structural repair, a study by the engineering group O'Connell & Associates found.

The list of work to be done is extensive. Initial plans called it to get underway in mid-September and take up to 18 months to complete.

Included in the renovations are removal and repair of deteriorated or damaged concrete as well as the removal and replacement of windows and sliding glass doors. 

Balcony enclosures are to be replaced and almost all existing exterior wall coatings will be removed. Cracked stucco is to be sealed and damaged stucco repaired, a scope of work said. 

The scope of work also calls for the painting of all ceilings and walls as well as painting building balconies, walkways, stairway interiors and parking garages. The balconies also will be waterproofed.   

"All of the repairs are very essential, and if they're not done immediately there will be continued structural damage occurring at the complex," said Kent, who recollected the tragic collapse at the Champlain Towers East Condominium in Surfside.

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Kent said association board members have been assured that while extensive repairs are needed, none of the four buildings that comprise the high-rise condominium and town home complex is in imminent danger of structural failure.

For a recall petition at Shoreline Towers to have made it as far as it has, more than 50% of condominium owners would be required to sign on. In this case, Kent said the petition called for the recall of the entire seven-member board of directors.

If, as expected, the board votes against certification, the recall petition will be sent to the state level with a request for arbitration, he added.

Kent said he was not at liberty to address the problems discovered within the recall petition until after the document becomes public following Thursday's meeting.

The existing homeowners association board already has approved and signed contracts for the renovation work and has agreed in principle with the required per-unit assessment, Kent said.

Some condominium owners at Shoreline Towers in Destin have petitioned to have the entire homeowners association board recalled as preparations are made to begin major renovation and repair work.

In the case of arbitration, the current board will remain in place while it is underway, with its authority intact and the decisions it makes binding.

If work does begin, plans called for the condominium to remain open with some areas of the complex subject to temporary closure. The contractor has agreed to work with the homeowners association to minimize disturbances during next year's peak rental season, Kent said.   

The Shoreline Towers Homeowners Association hired Progressive Management last year, and, according to Kent, requested the management company "help orchestrate what needed to be done" to repair deteriorating infrastructure.