Written By Alex Galbraith
The management group of a Kissimmee condo off Osceola Parkway was warned by engineers in April that several of its breezeways could collapse. Many residents are just now finding out about the danger, after the engineering firm passed on their concerns to Osceola County officials.
Images Condominiums in Kissimmee was inspected in April by the private firms Farmer Architecture and Born Engineers. In a letter sent to the condo’s management and later shared with Osceola County, Daniel Farmer recommended that the condo close the breezeways immediately.
“[My engineer] recommended closing these areas to traffic until further investigation can occur to determine the full extent of the rotted wood problem,” Farmer wrote.
When the management group failed to take actions on the recommendations of both firms, Todd Born of Born Engineers shared their correspondence and findings with county officials.
“We have not heard back from the Owner and are concerned that nothing is being done,” Born said in an email to county building inspector William Grimes. “In my opinion, what we encountered in our very limited review of the condition is a very serious condition. The walkways are in danger of collapse and could represent a threat to the safety of the public.”
Residents told reporters for WESH that the first time they heard of the danger was when county officials posted flyers in the effected areas.
“We were not contacted by the HOA. I was not contacted by my rental property,” said resident Jennifer Dodd. “We’re just not getting any straightforward answers as to what the actual problems are, so we don’t know how dangerous the situation is, how permanent it is. Are we talking about a week of repairs? A month?”
Though the property is reportedly managed by FirstService Residential (and the emails were sent to a representative of that company), the Kissimmee condo no longer appears under its Florida holdings on its website.
Seventy-two units were declared unsafe by the county. Fifty-four people in the condos nearest the breezeways have been moved into temporary housing at a hotel. The county plans to inspect all of the buildings on the property.