Residents Held Out to Dry as Marina City Floods

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(Photo: Viewed from the marina level, passing kayakers or fleeing residents? Credit: Looper).

Trouble appears to be never-ending for the beleaguered Marina City corncobs. Besides the Gary Kimmel hooker scandal and ongoing reports of trash-chute fires, ant infestations, and homeless handymen squatting in empty apartments, many Marina Citizens awoke this week to flooded apartments and ruined possessions. The culprit: a mistake made by a condo association-hired plumber that caused flooding in an as-yet unknown number of apartments in both towers. Yet even as damage reports continue to arise, the condo association remains silent about the catastrophic failure of a common element that it was responsible for maintaining–well, except to deny any responsibility.

Earlier this week, an association-hired contractor working on one of Marina City’s basement water pumps caused a pressure spike in both residential towers that burst pipes and overflowed toilets in apartments as high as the 54th floor. Water cascading through the building superstructure from the initial flooding, spurred on by the high pressure, exponentially increased the damage as flooding proceeded downwards through tiers of apartments. According to maintenances sources, at least 20 affected apartments have been identified so far, including two adjacent tiers from floors 36 through 41 in East Tower.

Some residents only learned of the problem upon waking up to find themselves standing in pools of water in their bedrooms. Others posted about the flooding on the Marina City Watch Dog independent residents blog. While the extent of the problem began to become apparent to residents, no mention of the problem was made by the condo association or management office–even while flooding continued throughout the building. Residents were neither warned of the problem nor advised to check their units for flooding, key information that could have prevented the damage from spreading.

One affected resident wishing to remain anonymous shared with Chicago Carless a conversation with Marina City’s management office regarding the flooding. Looking to the management office for help and guidance about the problem, they were told in no uncertain terms that the condominium association had decided that it would accept no responsibility whatsoever for the flooding–even though it was the association who hired the offending contractor and it was a common element for which the association was responsibile to maintain that failed.

As I posted on the Watch Dog, while the plumber’s insurance carrier probably should be the one to pay out for damages to the God-only-knows how many apartments affected by the flooding, the management office informed the flooded resident that the association will not even act as an intermediary for affected residents, and is not collecting information about the extent of the problem for insurance purposes. Instead, today the association will distribute flyers under unit doors specifying contact information for the plumber’s insurer, essentially washing its hands of the situation.

But perhaps the most galling item to arise from the conversation: the resident was told that no one should hold the association responsible because it’s not their fault that Marina City’s plumbing is so old. Are your heads spinning yet, folks, or is it just me? Last time I checked, it was a condominium association’s responsibility to make sure that common-element infrastructure remained in good working order instead of exhibiting a catastrophic failure, as happened this week at Marina City.

All in all, more evidence for what many residents now believe is the total failure of Marina City’s current condo board to care at all about the needs of the people who actually live in the building, a situation that has made more than one current renter seriously rethink their plans about investing in the building. (Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to, er, sink your money?)

Fires, floods, ant-ridden pestilence. Pull out those stopwatches now, people. Famine, volcanoes, and earthquakes cannot be far behind.

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