Pre-renovations begin at Destin's aging Shoreline Towers condo. What's the fate of the HOA?

Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News

DESTIN — Preconstruction inspections will be conducted this week ahead of the start of an estimated $10 million to $15 million structural renovation project at the 45-year-old Shoreline Towers condominium complex on Holiday Isle.

Work will get underway even as state officials review a request to recall all seven members of the condominium's homeowners association board.

The board voted Thursday to reject the proposed recall effort, citing discrepancies on petitions signed by owners or representatives of 36 of the 195 condo units and 10 town houses at the complex.

Preconstruction inspections are scheduled to begin this week at the Shoreline Towers condominium complex in Destin in preparation for a $10 million to $15 million repair and renovation project.

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The discrepancies included forms not being signed correctly and signatures that did not match voting certificate signatures, according to statements made at the meeting.

Under state law, the board has five days following its vote against certification to submit the recall paperwork to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for arbitration, according to Mike Kent, the owner/manager of Progressive Management of America, which is overseeing the renovation project.

Questions have surfaced among homeowners about the almost $80,000 assessment each unit will be required to pay to fund the renovations. 

"Transparency and communication (from the board) with the owners is bad," one person said during Thursday's board meeting. "That's where we're at."

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. 

With major structural work on the horizon for Destin's Shoreline Towers, a group of owners is attempting to recall the current HOA board and, rumor has it, halt the project.

The scope of work calls for balcony enclosures to be replaced and almost all existing exterior wall coatings to be removed. Cracked stucco will be sealed and damaged stucco repaired. 

Plans also call for the painting of all ceilings, walls, building balconies, walkways, stairway interiors and parking garages. The balconies also will be waterproofed.   

The decision to undertake the extensive renovation followed findings reported in January by O'Connell and Associates, a consulting engineering firm hired last December to perform an inspection of Shoreline Towers.

"The overall condition of the property is poor," the engineers reported.

"Most windows and doors on the buildings need to be replaced, failed sealants are a widespread issue. The concrete slabs are distressed and partially deteriorated," the report said. "The exterior coatings are aged and failing on all buildings, and there are widespread reports of leaks across the property." 

The report called on homeowners to "quickly" replace of all the condominium's sealant, windows and doors "as they may pose significant threats to water intrusion or life safety issues."

Three years ahead of the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex in South Florida, engineer Frank Morabito reported that millions of dollars in work was needed to fix design problems, damage to concrete and other structural issues, according to USA Today.

One of the report’s most serious findings, engineers interviewed by USA Today agreed, was that waterproofing had failed on a concrete slab over the building’s basement garage.

“Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” Morabito wrote. “Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion.” 

Kent confirmed last week rumors circulating that some unit owners pushing the Shoreline Towers recall effort were opposed to the assessment being requested to cover the costs of renovation.

"All of the repairs are very essential, and if they're not done immediately there will be continued structural damage occurring at the complex," he said.

Structural inspections like the one that located the deteriorating conditions at Shoreline Towers could soon be required every 10 years in Destin for buildings that rise three stories or higher and can house more than 500 people. On Aug. 2 the city council requested city staff to draft for its consideration an ordinance ordering inspections of "threshold buildings." 

If the new ordinance is passed, a report on the each decade inspection's findings will be turned in to city officials within 90 days of its conclusion, and any repairs required must be completed within 180 days of the inspection, the ordinance states. Buildings older than 10 will be given a year after the ordinance is passed to conduct an inspection.