AUSTIN (KXAN) - For the second time this year, residents of an Austin apartment building had to be evacuated due to structural problems that might be a danger to residents.
The Austin Police Department was called to Las Palmas Apartments, located at 2409 Town Lake Circle in South Austin, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to investigate the report of a balcony that was leaning and in danger of collapsing.
APD was originally called because a resident at the complex complained to management that he woke up to cracking noises, but they didn't believe him so a fight ensued and that's when management called APD.
When officers arrived to talk to the individuals, they noticed that one of the apartment buildings was in a precarious state, that's when the Austin Fire Department was notified.
The decision was made to evacuate residents from 18 apartment units -- 16 of which were occupied by a total of 50 people. The apartment management was able to accommodate living arrangements for seven families on-site and the rest of the residents were placed in hotels.
Red Cross is also assisting evacuated residents.
While AFD was there evacuating residents, they noticed that a balcony was cracked and even shifted while they were there.
The complex was built in 1985. According to the Travis County Appraisal District, Duke Capital Real Estate Fund VI LP owns the 121 unit property.
Structure engineers will have to evaluate the building on Wednesday morning to determine whether or not the residents will be allowed back into their units.
Wood Ridge Apartments
In May, Wood Ridge Apartments drew the attention of city officials when a balcony collapsed. As a result, 50 families were asked to evacuate due to the poor living conditions and as many as 700 code violations at the complex.
Asset Plus Companies representative Byron Plant has said the apartment owners do not have the finances to make the required repairs. On Aug. 22, representatives for Wood Ridge appeared before the Building and Standards Commission. The owner of the apartment said they were still looking for a company to purchase the apartments, but they have not secured a buyer yet.
Since repairs have not been made, the city has started to charge the owners with fines of 1,000 for each of the 15 buildings with violations -- $15,000 each week.
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