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'Surfside Changed Everything.' Key West Holding Condemnation Hearing For 110-Unit Condo

an image of the santa clara condominium in Key West
Nancy Klingener
The seven-story Santa Clara condominium is home to about 300 people.

The Santa Clara condominium is in a "dilapidated, unsanitary, uninhabitable or unsafe condition," according to a notice from the city of Key West.

The city's chief building official will hold a condemnation hearing Sept. 13. After that he'll decide whether the building should be condemned or if other steps should be taken.

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Residents have not been evacuated. The building is seven stories tall with 110 units, according to state records and was built about 40 years ago.

The president of the condominium association said they've been working on repairs for years, but that "Surfside changed everything" when it came to the attitude of the engineer advising them, and the city.

"We've been doing everything that our engineers have been telling us," Oliver Kofoid said.

The current round of repairs include replacing one of the building's two staircases and finishing repairs on the roof. Kofoid said the repairs are expected to cost $8 to $10 million.

If the condo association can't get a loan, homeowners will get a special assessment of $70,000 to $120,000, depending on the size of the unit, he said.

Kofoid said about 300 people live at Santa Clara, in the New Town area of Key West. It's a mix of blue-collar and white-collar workers, retirees, renters in investment properties and military, he said.

"Most of the building is workers. We are the one of the cheapest buildings besides the Housing Authority here in Key West," he said. One two-bedroom condo at Santa Clara is currently for sale for $310,000 — less than half the median home sales price for the island, according to Realtor.com.

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Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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