SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Just under 90 people are back living at the Vie Lofts right now out of a total of 162.
The apartment complex near Texas State University Campus was evacuated in September after city officials had a concern about the structural safety of one stairwell.
KXAN obtained these pictures through a public information request, showing crumbling, cracked cement. In a report, city staff on the scene in September described the stairwell in question as at risk of collapse if many people tried to use it in an emergency.
Miranda Trevino’s and Ashton Sanchez’s room is adjacent to the stairwell.
They’ve been in hotels since late September and it’s getting old.
” I just want stability in my life. I think we pay so much so we can walk to campus. All my classes are right here,” said Trevino.
City officials say the majority of the building is safe in totality but they limited the number of people who can live there. The other two stairwells and elevators are enough entrances and exits to get the 89 people in and out. That one problem stairway is blocked off by city fire partitions.
“That’s why it’s basically blocked off. Unable to be used. I will tell you that we have already received permits and drawings from the lofts ownership to begin the demolition, repair, and replacement of that stairwell. So they are trying to move quick,” said City Fire Marshall Kelly Kistner.
Vie Lofts has a temporary certificate of occupancy to have those 90 people living in this building. But that TCO is contingent upon rebuilding that staircase. The management here says the hope to have that done in four weeks.
At the time, the San Marcos Fire Chief explained that the mandatory immediate evacuation was ordered “out of an abundance of caution.”
Derrick Milam, co-founder of Vie Management, released the following statement:
“We were able to start moving residents back home on Saturday, Sept. 28 and as of today [Oct.3] we have successfully moved in 96 residents. We are still working diligently with the City of San Marcos to move forward with the other requirements they listed in order to have the rest of our residents move back in as soon as possible.”