wjxt logo

Florida condo managers take notice of renovations at Jacksonville Beach high-rise

Ocean 14 Condominiums refurbishing concrete, rebar

Along Duval County’s beaches, there are five residential buildings that are more than 30 years old and stand more than 100 feet tall.
Along Duval County’s beaches, there are five residential buildings that are more than 30 years old and stand more than 100 feet tall.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Along Duval County’s beaches, there are five residential buildings that are more than 30 years old and stand more than 100 feet tall.

They are Pelican Point, Pablo Towers, The Waterford, Ocean 14 and Seascape.

News4Jax is working to find out when they were last inspected and if any issues were found. Three of the buildings’ condo associations couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday. Another did not return our message by publication. We’re also working to reach residents.

On Friday, News4Jax reported on the work going on at Ocean 14 Condominiums, a 17-story building in Jacksonville Beach that was built in 1976. What started as a little project to patch up the stucco revealed “spalling” underneath -- or a slow deterioration of the old concrete and rebar. It led to a multimillion-dollar renovation project to chip away and repair the aging material.

After our story aired, Ocean 14 Condominiums Board President Scott Kelly said other condo managers in other parts of the state took notice, including one from the Fort Myers area.

“So he reached out to me based on, I did, of course, I couldn’t help but post your link. So he saw my Facebook link, took a look at it. They’re dealing with the same sorts of issues. They got a 25-year-old building, so they want to get ahead of the curve,” Kelly said.

Kelly said another manager of a 50-year-old condo building in Volusia County reached out as well, asking about the repair being done in Jacksonville Beach.

“And I said, ‘Here are the things you’re probably going to look for -- look there, look here, look there.’ So they’re going to start that process,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the real issue is the lack of any building inspection standards for oceanfront high-rises.

“The only legal requirement that I’ve been able to find is Miami-Dade and Broward. So that’s the 40-year certification, 10-year recertification,” Kelly said. “But simple prudence says you want to keep an eye on things.”

Kelly added that he thinks 40 years is too long and he believes inspections should be required after 25 years.

He said now is the time for every high-rise condo association to think about the structural integrity of their buildings in the wake of the condo building collapse in Surfside.

RELATED: Surfside condo’s board had a duty to act on engineering firm’s findings, attorney says | Despite warning, town deemed condo building in ‘good shape’

“It shows the responsibility that those of us who do this have to our members,” Kelly said. “It’s a never-ending thing. You have to stay on top of it. You have to do it all the time.”

News4Jax also reached out to the Jacksonville Beach mayor on Monday. We were told she was in training all day and had no further comment about high-rises in her area.

After the collapse in Surfside, managers of mid- and high-rise condos in Jacksonville Beach are taking a close look at the structural integrity of buildings along our coast.
After the collapse in Surfside, managers of mid- and high-rise condos in Jacksonville Beach are taking a close look at the structural integrity of buildings along our coast.

About the Authors:

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.