City of Rochester releases engineering report on Rochester Towers

(ABC 6 News) – The City of Rochester released a reporter from Encompass Engineering on Friday revealing details on their inspection of the Rochester Towers Condominiums.

It goes over structural damages that caused the evacuation of the Towers on June 2. The report reveals that Building Restoration Corporation, BRC, who had been contracted on separate repairs to the building, found a previous repair to one of the support columns had moved.

BRC then contacted the City of Rochester to review the building’s damages, which led to the impromptu evacuation of the Towers.

In the weeks since the evacuation, residents have been left on their own to find temporary places to stay and have felt there’s been a lack of transparency from the home owner’s association and property management company, First Residential.

“We’re all shocked,” said Patricia Beckenbaugh, a resident of the Towers. “We had a meeting Thursday night and it’s just so sad, because we all got along and now we’re all just so mean to each other. Instead of helping each other out, we’re just destroying each other. It just breaks my heart. And we’re all so, we’re all so scared and we don’t really know who to believe or what to do so I think it’s very emotional for everybody.”

In a statement Wednesday, the attorney for the Towers homeowner’s association asked the city to remove the order that has the Towers listed as unsafe property and allow for some residents to move back in.

The city responded Friday morning saying in an email they’ll have a decision on that request within five business days.

Thursday night, a meeting was held for the homeowners association informing them about potential costs to the repairs of the towers. Residents were told estimates ranged anywhere from $10,000 per unit to $200,000.

If the city does lift the order within the next five business days, there are those, like Beckenbaugh that do not feel safe going back into the towers. Based on what they’ve seen from the report and the visible damage still on the exterior of the building, they don’t feel safe returning into the building.

“They don’t let us know what’s is going on,” said Beckenbaugh on the association’s transparency. “Everything I know is through the news. I know we’re all scared on how much it’s going to be to pay all that money to move in the building.”

The report also makes mention of repairs that have been completed to the Towers since the evacuation on June 2, saying they’re only temporary. The Towers will need to be inspected a minimum of every 120 days moving forward until long-term repairs can be arraigned.

“Even if they let us back in it’s scary to know how much it’s going to be. Scary to know if it’s going to be stable,” Beckenbaugh said.

The responsibility of long-term repairs falls on the owner of the building according to state law. But residents fear the costs could fall on them and some cannot afford any of the estimated numbers that they’re hearing about.