Kansas City: owners of ‘luxury’ condos frustrated by fire code violations, broken promises

 

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Kansas City condo owners say that the developer of Park Reserve left them with fire code violations, broken promises, unpaid fees, and a building that’s falling apart.

Last month, Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) inspectors discovered problems with the fire protection system — low water pressure in their fire sprinklers and non-working alarms.

For the past month, owners have been waiting for developer, Wayne Reeder, to make repairs. But Reeder says that, since developer affiliates were forced off the condo board, unit owners are now responsible for maintenance of their luxury condo building.

In fact, last Thursday, the city threatened to order all residents to vacate their luxury condos.

At the last minute, Reeder fixed the fire alarms, to avoid the bad publicity of an evacuation.

Building is ‘falling apart’

Several residents tell KCTV they have put up with years of water leaks, flooding, and mold in both the Yellowstone and Grand Teton buildings. Understandably, owners think Reeder should pay to fix the mess of problems in Park Reserve.

A Park Reserve website boasts about its selling points including “a full 25 year tax abatement, breathtaking views from every condo that brings together everything people want in a metropolitan environment: top quality appliances, floor to ceiling windows, and amenities that pamper you like you are on vacation everyday.”

Nothing is written in stone quote broken promises
(Pixabay.com free image)

But, consider that KCFD ordered the condo residents to take turns walking the building every hour, all night, on fire safety watch, until the sprinkler system is working. And the city has given Reeder until March 20 to complete the work.

Does that sound like a vacation?

And that’s not all. Condo owners also tell KCTV that they’ve been waiting more than ten years for promised amenities such as an indoor pool and movie viewing room.

Right now, those extra features are the least of their worries.

Dispute over maintenance nearly leaves condo residents homeless

Updated 9 hrs ago | Posted on Mar 7, 2019
Betst Webster, Zoe Brown, KCTV5

Video

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Luxury homeowners were nearly homeless on Thursday because of a dispute over maintenance.

The safety issues at Park Reserve near W. 31st Street and Baltimore Avenue brought the long-standing conflict to a head.

A month ago, the KCFD gave emergency orders. The sprinklers didn’t have the pressure to function. The fire alarms weren’t working.

Read more:
Dispute over maintenance nearly leaves condo residents homeless

In a separate report from KSHB, we also learn that Park Reserve has a 7-year history of not passing fire safety inspections.

For unexplained reasons, the city has allowed Reeder to take out temporary occupancy permits for dozens of units in the buildings, even though most of the units are permanently occupied.

Although the owners now control Park Reserve HOA, they say Reeder’s company, Park Reserve LLC, hasn’t shared maintenance records with them. The HOA also placed a lien against the developer for unpaid condo fees.

Kansas City condo owner forced to address fire alarm violations; residents feel unsafe

Posted: 7:42 PM, Mar 08, 2019 Updated: 8:42 PM, Mar 08, 2019
KSHB News By: Sarah Plake

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residents at the Park Reserve Condominiums say they still feel unsafe one day after the Kansas City Fire Department told the property developer to get the buildings up to fire safety standards.

“My children were suggesting that I move in with them and honestly, I might go ahead and just do that because I still don’t feel safe,” condo owner Maryann Dubois said Friday.

Read more:

Kansas City condo owner forced to address fire alarm violations; residents feel unsafe

And in an updated report from KMBC, viewers get additional details. Kansas City has issued 37 temporary occupancy permits for Park Reserve, and 15 occupied units at Park Reserve were sold without any occupancy permit.

In addition, unnamed sources claim that the fire sprinkler system is tied into the main water supply, a major building code violation.

 

Homeowners feel let down and angry

Despite the use of the word “luxury” in the description of Park Reserve condos, the units are small and affordably priced. (Although I couldn’t find any active listings, under the circumstances) Many units are occupied by single working or retired adults, who probably spent their life savings to obtain the dream of homeownership.

I’ll bet none of them expected to live in an unsafe, leaky building. No doubt, most of them bought into a low-maintenance, high-amenity, city lifestyle.

Instead, it appears condo owners will be stuck with expensive repairs, and the possibility that they may have to move out of their homes for who knows how long.

No one seems to know how the city allowed people to buy condos without occupancy permits. Nor do we know why the developer, with a history of fire safety and code violations in several other properties he owns, has been able to get away with selling more condos to unsuspecting buyers.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story.