Plaza Towers Condominiums
160 Campau Circle
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
In support of this year's National Neighborhood Night Out, all condo residents are invited to spend the evening on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM visiting with their neighbors in several different host condos. Save the date for now, details to follow !
You can view the July 2013 edition of The Tower Tribune here.
We are investigating with security and we are posting pictures of thief on wall by mail boxes. Head of security is investigating why security personnel did not see his actions on camera between 1:30 and 2:30am. Any ideas on person in pictures, call security at (616) 242-6502. Even locked bikes were taken so suggest you take your bikes to your condo for storage until we are more confident of protection in parking ramp. Those who bikes have been stolen can file a police report on online here. The GRPD has suspect info and detective is picking up video footage.
ELEVATORS: The contract for repair of the one elevator and the upgrade of the cab of the current one has been signed and hopefully we will have two elevators in a little over 12 weeks. This cost is covered by insurance. However, a new drive will be installed on the one elevator which will cost about $20,000 and will be included in the assessment, the total amount of which the Board will decide next week and notify all owners at that time. SECURITY AND BICYCLES: We still do not have the details worked out on getting security access worked out, but in the interim we need to be extra cautious about our bicycles. Though locked, two were stolen in past week or so (time of theft cannot be determined). Some individuals are keeping their bikes in their condos which of course is fine. This is preferable cost wise to renting fencing and setting up a corral.. Security has a camera on the third level of the parking ramp that looks up toward the NE corner so if you park and lock your bike there (near the kayaks) security has a better chance to make sure that bikes are not being taken or ridden out at unusual times. (there is no way to really monitor bikes in and out during the day.) Security personnel walk thru the ramp about once every two to four hours and we are requesting that they pay particular attention to bicycle storage places in general and the third floor storage in particular.
Michael and I met for almost two hours Wednesday morning with Mr Heule and Mr. Beyer. Of most interest to us: ELEVATORS: The first bid came in so high, we are waiting for two more bids and hopefully will be able to choose within a week. From the time of signing the contract it will be approximately 3 weeks. So we are at least a month away from having the second elevator in operation (there are choices to be made about the interior finish of the repaired elevator and what will it cost to make the existing one match it, if we are to do that now or later, or not at all). BUILDING ACCESS CONTROLS: We are working with the contractor on quotes for getting a system, probably upgraded, that will be compatible with both parking and building access. This also is several weeks away, so the current access code system and unlocked parking gates will continue. STORAGE LOCKERS: Hopefully by end of next week, there will be approval from the city to go ahead and reconstruct the storage room with the same or similar lockers. Completion date and when we might be able to use is unknown. (We are working with engineers on plans for reconstruction that will make the basement and thus the lockers secure in case of another water intrusion.) We are working with PTA to obtain the best price from all contractors to get the building back in shape within the insurance limits. The best info currently is that we will be able to accomplish that and many improvements can be made within the limits. Additional improvements, not covered by insurance, to make certain that the building is repaired so a similar problem can be prevented might lead to assessments for all of the units. It is way too early to even speculate on this, so don’t. Stop us or email us if you wish to talk about any of these issues. My email is email@example.com and Michael’s is firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Wally Knack and I met for over an hour with the building super, Todd Beyer, along with Paul Heule, Thursday afternoon to get a comprehensive update on various activities taking place in the building. Two other elevator services quoted on the elevator repairs this past week, since the quote from Kone was deemed to be out of sight. One of the thoughts / ideas / concepts being considered would be an update to the down elevator, in terms of buttons for each floor, to make them consistent with today's technology / available parts, which then theoretically avoids a conflict in old technology for most floors, while having new technology in the elevator and basement controls. Push button access for certain doors will go away in 2-3 weeks as a contract for door access is getting signed now. Camera monitoring will be restored within a couple days. A general contractor has been hired to manage the various tradesmen and reconstruction of relevant area. One of two chillers are operational in the building. The one being replaced will have more capacity than it used to before, to enhance efficient temperature control. The security office will go back downstairs, where it was before, and won't remain in the former Turner Construction location. Cinder block walls are proposed between the condo storage and building mechanical rooms, to help keep future potential water incursions out, should other new construction methods otherwise fail. Additionally, flood doors have been discussed as an additional back-up method. About $2.3 million has been committed to so far, of the $5 million flood policy money that'll be coming in. That's before the garage floor is rebuilt / reinforced, etc. It is not a complete figure ($2.3 million) of all that needs to be spent. Improvements to prevent future disasters (i.e. flood doors) wouldn't tend to be included as insurable expenses. A generator repair contract is getting signed, which means the generator in our driveway will be there for just about a month more. Hey, slow down going past it. Damaging that generator would put us out of business once again. The possibility exists that power for the building would be interrupted for a couple hours as the "transfer switch", which switches power between the generator and AC power, gets installed. We hope to have advance notice of that event, but one never knows. One of the two transformers in the basement is being replaced. That's the borrowed one that's down there. It'll take up to 3 months to be delivered. Expect power interruption at that time. Storage areas will be rebuilt when the basement gets rebuilt. Simplex, the fire monitoring company, will be reviewing the couple co-owner complaints of NOT hearing the evacuation order, along with a few squawks noted by the fire department. In summary, there's much work to be done. The initial push to get us all back in the building "at all costs" has been replaced by a "let's make the $5 million last to the greatest extent possible". Expect changes, service interruption, uncomfortable air humidity, elevator delays...as we continue to work out the after-effects of a 100 year event. Your patience, understanding, tolerance and support has been and continues to be appreciated. Thank you. Michael Cagen
You can view the fire department report here.
Please remember to fill out your security card information to assure your access remains uninterrupted once the system is restored. You can do so on-line at the following link.
Remember the Owners’ and Renters’ Meeting in the Campau Room at 7:00PM Monday, May 13, 2013. Agenda: 1. Introductory remarks by Pres. Knack. 2. Comments by TRES’s special counsel John Cameron. 3. Discussion of Board’s list of: What we might have done better and plans for the future in dealing with a major evacuation and/or disaster. 4. Comments and Questions from owners and renters on the above subject. 5. Drinks in lobby furnished by Social Committee.
Security has installed key pads in selected locations, which are operable with the code you have already received. Thank you. Michael Cagen
1st floor hotel and 2nd floor common area carpeting will be cleaned this evening, Thursday, May 9, 2013, which means once started, your only access point to the condos will be via the first floor Circle Drive entrance. Security will be stationed at the doorman's desk throughout the night for first floor access. Thank you. Michael Cagen
The trash compactor is now working and available for use.
Water: The water pipes were flushed, but you may see rust colored water when you first open a faucet. This will only last a moment and there is no need to be concerned. The water quality has been tested by the City of Grand Rapids Water Department. If you have little or no water pressure, please call security at (616) 855-3335 for maintenance assistance. As a precaution to protect the water heaters, the supply valves were tuned off before they turned on the domestic water pumps. Electricity: As a precaution, all of the circuit breakers in you condominium were turned off before power was restored to the building. If you find that some electrical devices or lights do not work, please call security at (616) 855-3335 for maintenance assistance. Heating and Cooling: Your heat pump was turned off at the thermostat, please turn it on at your convenience. Heating and cooling should be running normally in your condominium. You heat pump, which also cools your condominium, might run longer than normal when it is on "cooling" mode, because the larger chillers that pre-cool the air are currently being replaced. The hallyways and common areas might feel more humid and warmer than usual until the chillers are replaced. Card Access: The equipment that controls the card access system was destroyed in the folld. Some of the wiring to the control system will also have to be replaced. They expect to have the system fully functional within the next two weeks. For the time being, the entry box on the 2nd floor (Skyway Lobby Entrance) has been programmed with temporary passwords. If you have not received a temporary password, please contact security at (616) 855-3335. Elevators: At this time, there is one condominium elevator operating. The other condominium elevator is expected to be operating within a week. The elevator that serves the parking structure and sports deck requires extensive repair as all of its equipment is located in the basement and was more heavily damaged. The necessary parts are custom made and have been ordered with delivery expected in a few weeks. Sports Deck: The sports deck is open for your use. Please remember the elevator for the sports deck is not operational. Access is available by the stairs next to the elevator. Basement Access: At this time the basement is a construction zone. Residents will not be able to access this area. Security: The Security Office is temporarily located in the former Turner Construction space which is in the retail building facing the river (by FedEx and Bagger Dave's). New signs are being made. Look for the temproary directional signage through the property. All of the security services previously received at their basement location are not available in the temporary office. Packages will continue to be checked in and received at this temporary location.
The trash compactor just broke. Please put nothing down the trash chute until further notice, which should be until about 12:00NOON, tomorrow, May 9, 2013.
Tomorrow the new normal will be the skyway opening at 7:00AM, not 9:00AM as previously reported.
At time of this posting we are not busy so forget the schedule and come to the second floor lobby until 9:00PM. The Circle Drive entrance and Skyway entrance will be closed at 9:00PM. If you wish to access your condo after that you can come thru the hotel entrance walk up stairs to second floor lobby. Our white cards will not work. So call security at 242-6602 or 855-3336 and they will give you the temporary code or come to assist you to get into the elevator lobby. The parking ramp will remain open overnight with increased security. But do lock your car. Tomorrow will be the new normal with skyway opening at 9:00AM and using the temporary code to access elevator lobby. The Circle Drive entrance will open at our regular hours of 12:00NOON - 8:00PM with Taylor at the desk and you can use the lobby elevator. None of Comcast services are working, but should be tomorrow. You may use the trash chute Wally
All clear, come ahead. We are operating the elevator until 9 pm this evening. After that you can gain entry, which we will explain in later posting this pm Wally
The following news from Eenhoorn was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page: We are happy to announce that the building will reopen this afternoon. Residents may move back in starting at 3pm. The city has granted us temporary occupancy which means that we can reopen and operate while we are under construction. There should be no interruptions in this occupancy permit. The basement will continue to be closed and has become a construction site. The Security Office is temporary (sic) located in the former Turner Construction space in the retail building facing the river. New signs are being made. Look for the temporary directional signage throughout the property. All of the Security services you received in the basement are now available in the temporary office. Packages will continue to be checked in and received at this temporary location. We appreciate all the patience and understanding that all the residents of the Plaza Towers community displayed during this difficult situation.
Todd just said expected entry is now 3:00PM. Wally
Just spoke to Todd, we have no clearance yet, but looking good for 12:00 NOON. He will call me as soon as he has so we can post. Once we have clearance, the ramp will be open without card. We will then start the hourly schedule. For those who don't mind walking up the stairway, you can do it at any time. Please refresh your memories as to the tentative plans for access. Wally
A new generator was installed last night. It would appear to comply with code requirements in that it comes on with just a 7 second delay after power interruption, versus the 10 second requirement and the 16 seconds experienced by the last temporary generator. The city inspector is expected at some point and once an Occupancy Certificate is granted, we should be on for move-in today. We've heard nothing to suggest that a noon start time is not workable. It's not final as of yet, but seems to be looking positive. Thank you. Michael Cagen
The following news from Eenhoorn was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page: We finally have some information about what has been delaying our occupancy permit update. We appreciate everyone's patience and as of 9pm tonight we are still working on the generator requirements. At this hour we are having a new generator installed that we hope will meet these requirements per the occupancy permits. This was something that came up late this afternoon after the city tests. We are still hopeful for tomorrow's move in date. It will be most likely the afternoon before we can open our doors. We understand the frustration this delay has caused and will continue to work throughout the night to get the city's last requirements finalized. Again we sincerely apologize for the late update.
A short time ago, I met with the building supervisor, Todd Beyer. Here is that update: We DO NOT YET have permission to occupy the building. Here are the specifics: The back up generator kicks on 16 seconds after power interruption. Code requires it to come on in 10 seconds. A local crew was dispatched to try to resolve that gap, which is being worked on right now. One of the air handlers, which blows chilled air, won't be on until 3 PM tomorrow. Until then, there will be chilled air but not as much as there is supposed to be. It is not a city requirement. Minor "smoke fans" weren't powered up at last inspection but they are now. New inspections for that will occur Wednesday morning. The city test results for chloroform in the water were due today, but are not yet back. It is not a city requirement. The hydraulic elevator that services the parking structure was fully submerged and replacement is about two weeks away. It is not a city requirement. Our second condo elevator is out of service for approximately 1 more week. It is not a city requirement for occupancy tomorrow. Even if the 6 seconds in delay for the back up generator can be found tonight, the city inspections won't occur until Wednesday, which means the best we can hope to learn tonight is that the building SHOULD pass inspection. Still, the final approval isn't possible until Wednesday morning. NOON is the phased in start time for the POSSIBLE move-in on Wednesday. See the schedule in the posting below to figure out when you should tentatively plan your move. IMPORTANT: Don't bring in all your luggage / possessions on Wednesday. You'll slow down the move in. Don't buy six bags of groceries. We only have one elevator. After Wednesday, the crunch will hopefully be gone so this common-sense restriction shouldn't be necessary. Expect a possible delay at the second floor elevator lobby Wednesday, so a very light lunch / snacks will be provided there. Check back here after 9 PM or check the Plaza Towers Apartments Facebook site for an update on the success or failure of getting that generator issue resolved. Thank you. Michael Cagen
Though we will not know until at least 4:00PM today whether and what time tomorrow we can get back in, these are our TENTATIVE plans as of 2:00PM today, May 7, 2013: Though it will be like 144 freshman on the first day of school trying to get to their room on floors 15-32, we are trying to make it as pain free as possible; We will set up a schedule by groups of floors so that the maximum number of owners can be put on each elevator load. (We realize that won’t work for everyone, but if it only works for half it will expedite moving in.) There will be an elevator operator to control access to floors. We anticipate the ramp will be open (the garage elevator does not work), so we want everyone to come into the sky way and then into the second floor lobby so we can move as quickly as possible. We expect that some might only be able come in thru the circle drive and lobby entrance so every hour, hopefully on the hour, the operator will come to the first floor to pick up people. (This will take longer because of stopping on many floors so please do not use this as a way to avoid the line on two.) The schedule we will try to follow would be as follows starting with the first hour we have access recognizing we don’t know that time: 1st hour – Floors 15 & 16 2nd hour – Floors 17 & 18 3rd hour – Floors 19 & 20 4th hour – Floors 21 & 22 5th hour – Floors 23 & 24 6th hour – Floors 25 thru 32 We will have shopping carts and trash barrels available. Please don’t try to make this a complete return with your stuff, but at least bring some food. Once you are up in your condo we are checking if the stairway can be open for walking down; with all the people wanting to get to their condos we have not figured out a way to get you down once up there but when a couple are ready to return we might be able to give you a cell number to call so the operator can come pick you up before descending to get the next load to go up. Unfortunately the second elevator is out for perhaps a month so we have to really work together.
The following news from Eenhoorn was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page: Yesterday we made great progress and still feel hopeful that residents will be able to come home tomorrow. We expect to have information and a timeline by 4pm this afternoon. This is dependent on the city signing off on a few pending tests to gain the temporary occupancy permit. 1. Light and power has been restored to most areas of the building, excluding a few basement locations. When the building is reoccupied the basement areas will not be accessible to residents because they are still being worked on. 2.We have a generator test at 2pm today. The results of this test will be one of the final pieces to determine whether we are granted temporary occupancy. 3.Final water tests will be back at 3pm today. Again, this is one of the items we need in order to get the permits for occupancy. Things will move rather quickly once we are granted the permits required to regain occupancy. As soon as we know we have these permits we will use all our resources to get information out regarding the timeframe and other important details residents will need.
Given the likelihood of a Wednesday move in date, along with the messiness of moving bicycles, building management has determined that you may leave your bike where it is until after you get back to the building. Please try to have it moved within a day or so following your re-occupancy of your condo. Thank you. Michael Cagen
Here's the current status, based on my recent call with Todd Beyer, the building's General Manager: One condo elevator is up and running. The fire department is still doing some testing. Everything they have tested has passed, but some systems were not yet powered up, so there is more testing to come, which will be Tuesday. The fire pump still needs some tweaking. The generator will get tested Tuesday afternoon. The building inspector will be there Tuesday to hopefully grant their approvals. The water system has been flushed and tested. Results of the chloroform tests are due Tuesday. Bacteria tests are due Wednesday. Two of three air handlers (cool air) are running. The one for the basement, first, and second floor is believed to be operable, but is not running at this time for various reasons. All unit circuit breakers are back on, except the water heaters and heat pumps. Should you go to your unit at any time prior to the Wednesday occupancy date, LEAVE THEM OFF. If you were to turn them on, you may damage your equipment since the chilled water loop may be interrupted between now and then. Fresh air is circulating in the hallways. There is not a more definitive occupancy time beyond "Wednesday". Following Tuesday afternoon's testing, which is critical, we expect to know more. Thank you. Michael Cagen
The following news from Eenhoorn was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page: Our most recent update includes several big steps toward our expected move in day. We expect Wednesday, May 8th is very reachable. ... Domestic water pumps have been turned on. All of the fixtures have been flushed and we are required to have a 24 hour waiting period before the city will test the water. This will be done this afternoon. The air handlers for the building have been running for over 24 hours. We are making progress on restoring the cooling tower and loop pump. This will be done within 24 hrs. There are some repairs and requirements that are being worked out on some of the electrical components. We are hopeful that this will not cause any delays but continue to monitor the progress. ... We thank you again for your patience and understanding and will send more information out later today regarding our progress.
We are providing the condo escorts Monday (today, May 6, 2013) and Tuesday (tomorrow, May 7, 2013) from 11:00AM - 5:00PM. You need to come in through our main condo entrance by the doorman's desk and will have to sign in and out as we have been doing when accessing units from the 2nd floor. Taylor is at the desk.
Through Tuesday, May 7, 2013 (tomorrow), condo mail will be available for pick-up from 11 to 2 and 5 to 7. There will be no scheduled hours on Wednesday since we expect to be back in the building. Thanks for your help and patience.
The current date for occupancy of the building is still forecast to be sometime on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. One of our two elevators is now up and running and available for your use when escorted into the building. Escorted tours are the only way for access from now until move in date. Email Angie for an appointment. Security is currently going into every unit as part of the process to flush the water system. If you have a bike in the bike room, please have it removed quite soon. It can be brought to the bike shop on Monroe Center for repairs/storage or can remain in our ramp for a short time, in your parking space. Please fill out the key card information by mid-week to assure your access remains uninterrupted. You can do so on-line at the following link. Reminder: Co-owners meeting Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 7:00PM, in the Campau Room followed by snacks/drinks. Thank you. Michael Cagen
The following was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page. Nothing specific from Eenhoorn, but they still say they remain positive for a Wednesday return date. We will have escorted access to apartments available on Saturday from 9:00 AM – Noon. There will be no access hours on Sunday. Car access will also be available by appointment on Saturday. You can make an appointment by calling 616-855-3335 and you can show up for your appointment by visiting the temporary security office at 237 Fulton St. in the old Turner Construction office in the retail lot. You will want to wear boots or old shoes as the garage floor is still damp. We strongly recommend contacting your insurance agent and make towing arrangements with Merl’s Towing. Merl’s has been doing a great job getting cars out efficiently and has a very good system in place. The data from the key access card system to the building has been destroyed. The keys still work, but the records of who the keys belong to are gone. To help with the efforts of restoring this system quickly, we kindly ask that you take a few minutes to submit your key card information to us at https://eenhoorn.wufoo.com/forms/plaza-towers-key-card-form/. Things are still looking very positive for a Wednesday return date. Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding. Please remember the hours mentioned in their Facebook post only pertain to the apartments. Escorts to your condo are scheduled to be available on Saturday, May 4, 2013, from 12NOON until 3:00PM, provided there are no interruptions for system testing. There will be no escorts Sunday. Monday and beyond escorts will be by appointment only. Email Angie to schedule a time for Unit Escort Access next week.
Plaza Towers Security had asked that all occupants of the building re-register their key cards or key fobs using this link. Your card will continue to be available for several days after the mid next week goal set by security for card re-registration. Can't read your numbers? Just bring it to security after life has returned to normal and they'll be able to decipher the numbers and get it re-registered. Thank you. Michael Cagen
Assuming we get reentry into the building next Wednesday, May 8, 2013, as predicted by Eenhoorn, we will have an owner’s meeting at 7:00PM on Monday, May 13, 2013, in the Campau Room to report what we know, try to answer your questions, and discuss what we have learned from this evacuation and how and what we will set in place to be better prepared for any similar crisis in the future. John Cameron, who has been retained by the board as our counsel to handle the issues arising from the evacuation, will be present to report and answer questions. Knowing that our return to our homes will be a relief, THERE WILL BE DRINKS AND NIBBLES after the meeting. Wally
Building management continues to believe Wednesday, May 8, 2013, is the target for moving back in. Power is expected to be restored to our one working elevator today and once energized, will be available for escorted tours! Fire protection is now up and running. The water system is being flushed between now and Sunday, which involves running the water in each unit of the building, including yours, between now and Sunday. Unit Escorted Access is available today from 4:00PM until 7:00PM, subject to immediate and unannounced changes at the discretion of the building staff in their efforts to test and reopen the building. For Saturday hours and beyond, please see the prior post. Thank you. Michael Cagen
Escorts to your condo are scheduled to be available on Saturday, May 4, 2013, from 12NOON until 3:00PM, provided there are no interruptions for system testing. Two staff people will be on hand to handle escorted tours. Delays are possible depending on demand. There will be no escorts Sunday. Monday and beyond escorts will be by appointment only. Email Angie to schedule a time for Unit Escort Access next week. Thank you. Michael Cagen
The following was posted on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page about 9:00 pm: ... Tonight we received a very encouraging report from our teams of contractors working on restoring critical systems. 1.Our temporary fire pump was approved by the fire department. The fire department is continuing to work on getting other critical systems inspected and approved tonight. This is a very positive step towards getting residents back in their homes. We can’t thank the fire department enough. They have been very helpful in this process. 2.We are happy to report that many areas of the building are beginning to have power restored. Lighting and circuit boxes are being checked over the next day. We hope to have some of the ventilation components turned on by tomorrow. There are still some electrical components that need additional work but this is very encouraging step. 3.We expect to have some positive reports about some of our other key systems by tomorrow. There is a very strong possibility we will have 1-2 working elevators by Friday evening. ... We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to get you all back home by Wednesday. We can probably expect stopping of Condo Unit Escorts as testing makes it closer to our returning, but mail hours will continue as published, as will the time to get your bikes. So please remember posted Condo Unit Escort hours are subject to immediate and unannounced changes at the discretion of the building staff in their efforts to test and reopen the building.
Electrical system testing is still in progress and Unit Access Escort hours have just been cancelled for the remainder of the day. Mail can still be accessed from 5:00PM until 7:00PM this evening.
Our cleaning company is bagging the last of the 8 storage units being readied for off site storage. Those goods are in bags labeled by storage unit number. Thanks to the 136 residents who either came and removed possible valuables or who advised that what remains can be trashed. The pod in to which the above 8 unit's storage will be placed just arrived downtown. It will be moved to Grandville and stored indoors. If you have a bike here, please come by at any time, 24/7, to get it and move it to your parking spot in our ramp between now and Sunday PM. Monday morning, we will move the remaining bikes to a different area of the ramp and gradually figure out who owns them. See security for the best way to get in the ramp when you come to move your bike. You can take your car out of the ramp. No cars may be put in to the ramp. Escort hours today have just been reduced to a two hour window of 5:00PM - 7:00PM, to allow for electrical system testing. Last I saw, the apartments posted they anticipate a Wednesday return to the building. That can change at any time, so check back often. Once the building is re-opened, expect delays at the elevator since we are down to one. Also, the hydraulic elevator servicing the parking ramp is out of service. Thank you. Michael TRES
Until we reoccupy Plaza Towers, mail will be available for pick up from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and 5:00PM to 7:00PM Mon through Fri and 11:00AM to 2:00PM on Saturday. There will be no mail pick up on Sunday. If anyone is willing to help out and take a shift, please email me. Thanks. Steve Goldberg
Condo access hours and mail hours for the rest of the week are: Condo Escort Access - Thursday: 9:00AM - 1:00PM and 4:00PM - 8:00PM; Condo Escort Access - Friday: 9:00AM - 1:00PM and 4:00PM - 8:00PM; Mail Access - Thursday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM; Mail Access - Friday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM; Mail Access - Saturday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM; Mail Access - Sunday: none; Mail Access - Monday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM. Please reminder that these hours are subject to immediate and unannounced changes at the discretion of the building staff in their efforts to test and reopen the building.
The following post on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page indicates they expect residents to be returning home by next Wednesday: Escorted home access will be suspended tomorrow. We will be able to accommodate people that need access via appointment over the next two days. Please call 855-3335 to schedule, we would like to keep appointments limited to only urgent situations. We will have escorted access on Friday from 11am-3pm. On Friday, residents and their insurance agents may meet at the driveway access gate on Fulton Street starting at 9am. Because this is a worksite we will escort groups down to the parking area. Flashlights and waterproof boots are recommended. Merl’s Towing Company will have a representative onsite to assist with towing arrangements. Due to the low ceilings normal towing practices cannot be used and Merl’s has a plan for safe vehicle removal. Tomorrow we will be reaching out to each resident. We realize there has been a lot of information posted on Facebook, in the media and other places. We want to address some of the questions many of you have and personally give each of you an update. We would also like to confirm vehicle information again as well at this time. Based on the most recent information that was presented to us this afternoon we expect to have you home by next Wednesday. Please bear in mind the access hours and instructions mentioned in their Facebook post only pertain to the apartments, not the condos. Ignore the instructions to tenants. Their Facebook is only provided to give you most current info on conditions and return. Condo access hours and mail hours are: Condo Escort Access - Thursday: 9:00AM - 1:00PM and 4:00PM - 8:00PM; Condo Escort Access - Friday: 9:00AM - 1:00PM and 4:00PM - 8:00PM; Mail Access - Thursday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM; Mail Access - Friday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM; Mail Access - Saturday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM; Mail Access - Sunday: none; Mail Access - Monday: 11:00AM - 2:00PM and 5:00PM - 7:00PM. Please reminder that these hours are subject to immediate and unannounced changes at the discretion of the building staff in their efforts to test and reopen the building.
Per Building Security, escort service to units is unfortunately suspended for the evening due to testing of mechanical components in the building. Access to storage though is available until 9:00PM tonight. Very sorry for the inconvenience. Michael
Nate at Central District Cyclery has extended us an offer if you are in need of bicycle repair, cleaning, storage as a result of the flood. You can contact Nate at email@example.com or by phone at (616) 719-1265. All bike owners will need to make arrangements with Nate directly and will be responsible for the cost of repair. Central District Cyclery is located at 52 Monroe Center. According to Nate, they have already seen a few bikes and judging by their condition from being under water, the effect was not kind to them. He suggests replacing all of the cables and looking at repacking the hubs with grease. He may also need to drain water out of the frames. He is offering the following Plaza Tower package for $125 a bike: - wash and clean bike - replacement of all cables and new cable housing as needed - grease of front and rear hub - lubrication of all pivot points - lubrication of chain - braking and shifting adjustment - storage of bike for up to three weeks If someone doesn't need the storage, he can do the above for $80.00 On a case by case basis if he finds something out of the ordinary, he will contact the owner before proceeding.
No final deadline yet; however if you would like to get bike today between 4-9 you may do so and security will open the auto ramp so you can park your bike in there at your parking space or in one of the racks; you should provide your own locks in case someone breaks in despite security. Bolt cutters will be available in case you don’t have access to your chains. As soon as we know the next hours for access to bikes we will post it. We have arranged with Central District Cyclery, 52 Monroe Center, also to store your bikes and provide spring tune up and clean up at a reduced rate for us, the details will be posted later. They are open until 6:00PM tonight and again at 10:00AM tomorrow. When the cutoff date comes for unpicked up bikes, we will store them in the ramp at the owner’s risk. (We have no way of knowing to whom they belong.) Becky took our bikes there at 5 yesterday and the people at Central District Cyclery could not have been more welcoming, storing, and fixing our bikes and our car carrier. Sorry for the short notice, just received the information.
The following post on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page is the most recent information we have as it is direct information from Eenhoorn to their tenants. Here's a progress report on how things went today: Temporary lighting for the basement was purchased and will be installed tomorrow. We expect that this will enable us to allow adjusters to inspect vehicles on Friday. Merl's Towing will be the only provider authorized to remove cars. Due to low ceiling, normal towing procedures cannot be used. Merl's developed a plan last week that addresses those issues. Anyone entering the basement should bring a flashlight and wear boots due to puddles that remain. We will have more to tell you about the vehicle removal program soon. Switch gear that is part of our electrical system tested good and is being re-certified. Two critical transformers are still drying. We should know by Wednesday afternoon if they can be reused. If not, temporary transformers have been located. Consumers Energy energized their primary gear and initial tests indicate the equipment is fine. A key set of feeder cables that connect from our switch gear to some rather large machines has been showing inconsistent results. If they are unable to be salvaged, that could delay reopening of the building by several days. We should know more on that issue Wednesday. Our elevator contractor will be on site tomorrow to begin work on restoring at least one apartment elevator and one condo elevator. They then will move to the hotel and other elevators. When the building reopens the basement parking, basement entrance and all services previously provided in the Plaza Towers basement will be temporarily unavailable. We are working to develop temporary signage to address security and traffic flow issues. We will have more to tell you about this as we get closer to reopening. We are getting closer. We are optimistic we are talking about days, not weeks, before you will be back into your homes. That being said, we still can't make any promises or give you any definite timeframe for getting you home. We want to reiterate that we are waiving late fees for May rent payments. You will not be expected to remit your rent payments until after the building reopens. We will provide you with information about the full value of the rent abatements once we know how many days you were unable to be in your residence. Thank you again for all of the support, understanding and patience you have shown.
If you previously requested Grand Rapids Griffins tickets for tonight's play-off game, you can pick them up at the front desk of the Courtyard by Marriott entrance anytime before gametime. Enjoy and Go Griffins !!! Also, a group of residents plan to congregate at HopCat on Ionia for a burger, crack fries and beer for $6 starting at about 5:15 this evening before the game, please join if you can.
Consumers is testing electricity tonight which is THE vital step in getting to fireprotection, water pumps, and elevators. When we know something new in the AM, we will report. Faster info may be on the Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page as that is the direct press release from Eenhoorn who is managing the return to our condos and is the report they are providing to their tenants.
If you show up to remove items from your storage unit and sign the release to remove your items, you do not have to sign another release to have your items discarded at no expense to you. If you show up to remove items, sign the release, and do not want your remaining items to be discarded, you will have to provide written notification not to discard the remaining items in your storage unit and will be assessed the previously mentioned $500 fee. Again, if you do not show up to take what you want or fail to give us written permission to dispose of your possessions, we must assume there IS value to your property and we will have it moved to storage at the individual co-owners' expense. If you are unable to make it to Plaza Towers today or tomorrow and want to give consent to dispose of the belongings in your storage unit, or showed up, but still want your items stored with the associated $500 fee, you can email your consent here. Please contact anyone you think has not heard of this information so they may be informed of the tough choices to be made or provide their contact info you have here.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: It is possible any access listed as follows to one's condo unit, storage units, or mail may be suspended on virtually no notice for fire alarm and other utility testing tomorrow, which is a requirement before occupancy can be considered. Storage removal is well underway. Access to storage units on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, is from 4-9 PM. Once you have come to take your valuables, what remains will be disposed of. If you do not show up to take what you want or fail to give us written permission to dispose of your possessions, we must assume there IS value to your property and we will have it moved to storage at the individual co-owners' expense. If you are unable to make it to Plaza Towers today or tomorrow and want to give consent to dispose of the belongings in your storage unit, you can email your consent here. At the present time, escorts for access to condo units will be available for tomorrow as scheduled, from 9AM-1PM and 4PM-7PM daily. Mail access also resumes tomorrow, May 1, 2013, from 11AM - 2PM and 5PM - 7PM for the foresseable future.
Please enter on foot through the ramp on Fulton. There is a door to the bicycle area. There will be staff/volunteers at those entry points to ensure that everyone signs the waiver. We suggest you find off-street parking or use the lot near FedEx office (W. Fulton). Please do not drive down the parking ramp without our instruction.
Access to the the condo units will be suspended for the day by 6:00 PM. At 6:00 PM, everybody must be out of the building, without exception.
Situation constantly changing so we now have hours 12:30pm - 6pm today (April 20, 2013) and tomorrow (May 1, 2013). Wednesday, May 1, 2013, hours to be announced. We are also trying to get evening hours. Our previous schedule thus will not work, so recognizing you might have to wait a long time to gain entrance, come as best you can. Bikes do not have to be removed today, but we suggest you take them if you can.
Revised hours are 12:30 PM until 6:00 PM on April 30, 2013 (today). There will day time and evening hours for May 1, 2013 (tomorrow). These hours will be announced shortly.
We have been ordered by Plaza Towers Associates this morning that clean-up crews require us to empty the storage units TODAY. We are desperately working to get one more day but as of now this needs to be done ASAP.
To ensure the orderly pick up and removal of your storage unit property, we are asking that if possible you come during designated time blocks (see below). If you are unable to come today, we will need your written authorization to dispose of your property at what we believe would be no cost to you. Otherwise we will have a disaster restoration company photograph your contents and move them off site to non-climate controlled storage. The cost will be passed on to you if your contents are moved to the off-site storage area. That cost will be approximately $500.00.
If you want your contents moved off-site, do nothing. We will not need written authorization because it will need to be moved. However, we want to hear from you.
There will be two check-in areas. One for bikes and the other for the storage units. We will need each person entering either area to sign a waiver regarding possible contamination, slip/fall hazards, etc.
Please enter on foot through the ramp on Fulton. There is a door to the bicycle area. There will be staff/volunteers at those entry points to ensure that everyone signs the waiver. We suggest you find off-street parking or use the lot near FedEx office (W. Fulton). Please do not drive down the parking ramp without our instruction.
We will have plastic wrap, shoe protectors, duct tape, sanitizers, gloves and carts. There will be dumpsters near by so that you can discard of unsalvageable property.
The time blocks that we are suggesting are as follows:
Revised hours are 12:30 PM until 6:00 PM on April 30, 2013 (today). There will day time and evening hours for May 1, 2013 (tomorrow). These hours will be announced shortly.
Thank you all in advance for working with us especially on such a short notice. 2pm-4pm: Floors 15-19;
4pm-6pm: Floors 20-24;
6pm-8pm: Floors 25-28 (and those unable to come during working hours);
8pm-10pm: Floors 29-32 (and those unable to come during working hours);
If you have a flexible schedule today, we ask that you come during the time block assigned. We want to balance the number of residents we have in the area during these two-hour segments. This will help execute this task in an orderly manner.
Status of return to condos: We just met with Todd Beyer of PTA. We are dealing with days, not weeks. Unfortunately he cannot project a time that the entire building will receive approval for a temporary permit of access. It depends on the condition of equipment as it is dried out, tested, and put back in place or a new item purchased and installed. The key test will be when power is tested to be returned to the building which hopefully will be mid-week. Then all of the systems that provide electricity as well as fireprotection, water pumps, and elevators must be approved for compliance with the appropriate codes and regulations. The good news is that repair is moving effectively, with no unexpected surprises. Since some of you are not on Facebook, the following is what was posted on the Apartment's Facebook page which is the update provided directly by PTA. "We are making a ton of progress. Some of the equipment needed to restart the building is being meticulously cleaned and dried out off site through a “baking” process that should enable its reuse. Our... elevator contractors are optimistic that once power is restored that the elevators will be able to be used in relatively short order. We have ordered temporary fire pumps, chillers and generators to attach to our systems to temporarily replace any systems which may need more major repairs. Today is a critical day as our contractors and partners at Consumers Energy begin a battery of tests on key electrical components to ensure they are working properly and identify any components that need replacement. We are still waiting on word for when we can allow access to the garage area. We need to make sure it is a safe environment with proper lighting and a full assessment by our engineers before allowing residents and their insurance companies inside. The lower level is now considered a construction zone, with a large fence being installed to ensure safety and security as restoration work continues. Thanks again for all of your continued support, patience and understanding." Here is another post from Friday: "To answer the question on everyone's mind as honestly as possible: We are unable to provide you with a time frame for when you will be allowed to move back into your homes at this time. In order to come up with an accurate time frame we need to: 1. Ensure fire protection and suppression systems are operational and certified by the city 2. Safely restore power throughout the building 3. Re-certify elevators. 4. Review the building's water system. 5. Resolve any additional issues raised by city inspectors and our contractors. We know that this sounds like a lot, but we will be working throughout the weekend in conjunction with contractors, city inspectors and utility providers to complete this work as quickly as we are safely able to do so. We will continue to keep you posted on progress." Access to storage units --THAT IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK—PLEASE READ THIS With the water out and the damage being assessed to the inner walls of this area, it now means we have to get our stuff out asap, not later as we had initially assumed when we understood a variety of tests and inspections would have to occur. Ellen and I just inspected the bike area (no longer any walls) and the storage room where many of the doors are warped but we were able to look in our rooms and see the unforgiving impact on pictures and the tremendous amount of mud residue. She is preparing a program and schedule for all of us to gain access. It is a HUGE JOB, particularly on short notice and she will need volunteers and will be asking for them. We don’t know until we figure out the details for a 144 individuals to get their stuff and bikes out whether the dates will be this Wednesday to Sunday or what. Access to condos and mail: Access to condos will continue at 9-1 and 4-7 daily; Mail: NO SERVICE TUESDAY (our regular mailman has that day off and he is delivering despite some issues with others and a sub tomorrow would not be familiar with our situation, particularly using only a flashlight). Regular mail hours 11-2 and 5-7 will resume on Wednesday for the foresseable future. Parking in Amway lot: Sorry not available. Board action: We are meeting informally almost daily and will meet again tomorrow to assess the situation in regard to all issues. This situation is very fluid (bad choice of words), but I assure you that Angie and her staff as well as the board are doing their best to not only stay on top of the situation as well as anticipate problems. (As you are waiting in line to go up to your condo or sending her another email wish her a happy wedding. She is getting married May 17.) Wally
The Plaza Towers Apartment Facebook page is providing some information from Eenhoorn regarding the status of repairs on the building. Please remember that their Facebook page pertains to the apartment, so specifics about hours of unit access or mail delivery are apartment specific.For condo hours of unit access and mail, along with condo specific information, refer only to PlazaTowersCondominiums.com. Wally
Over the years The Grand Rapids Griffins have been the most awesome of neighbors and in a generous display of support, hoping to give us a bit of fun in this disruptive of times, they are inviting all condo residents to attend their playoff game Wednesday night, May 1, 2013 @ 7:00 PM, as their guest. If you would like to attend, please email Angie no later than Monday, April 29, 2013 @ noon. Be sure to put Go Griffins as the Subject. More details to follow. Thank you Griffins !!!
Security and the cleaning company have now successfully gained access to 100% of the units! No locksmith is necessary. Thank you !
The cleaning operation is coming along well, for the most part, with the 10 following exceptions:The building master key is not working for 132, 26, 28, 10, 12, 117, 100, 122, 125 and 92. In order to assure the best possible outcome for all owners (reduce the health risk for everyone) we will need to hire a locksmith this evening to gain access to those units. The cost of the locksmith will need to be borne by those co-owners where a locksmith is necessary. Thank you. Michael Cagen
Frustrations ---- We, as owners, are all in this together and want our reputation for gracious living downtown to continue and be restored, if necessary, and improved. We want the values of our homes to at least remain stable and over time to increase. We want people to want to buy. We cannot control what the media reports, but we can control what we say so I hope we all keep this in mind. We know some have suffered more financial loss, momento loss, and dislocation costs than others, but thankfully there has been no physical injury and thus far the restrictive access to condos and apartments has prevented any fire or injury. One match and and all hell breaks loose. Thanks for sharing our common burden, inconvenience, and financial losses. Wally
There is the possibility that Unit Access Hours for Saturday, April 27, 2013 may be suspended in the event the cleaning of the refrigerators and freezers is not completed by Saturday. Please check this website Saturday before making a special trip to access your unit on Saturday to confirm whether access is available. Michael
Various news reports have indicated that there is access to units today. PLEASE NOTE THAT THOSE NEWS REPORTS DO NOT APPLY TO CONDOMINIUM UNITS. There is no access to the condominium units today, Friday, April 26, 2013, as the refrigerators and freezers are being emptied. Access after Friday, 26, 2013 is as follows: Sat. 12Noon - 4PM Sun. None workers finally get day of rest Mon 9AM - 1PM ; 4PM - 7PM Mail: Fri 11AM - 2AM; 5PM - 7PM Sat 12NOON - 4PM Sun None Mon. 11AM - 2PM; 5AM - 7PM More later, Wally
Great news. River receding; pumping water from basement; contractors to commence evaluating scheduled 7AM Friday. Will report when have more info. Pray for sun and heat to dry equipment. Access hours: Fri. None because of frig cleaning Sat. 12Noon - 4PM Sun. None workers finally get day of rest Mon 9AM - 1PM ; 4PM - 7PM Mail: Fri 11AM - 2AM; 5PM - 7PM Sat 12NOON - 4PM Sun None Mon. 11AM - 2PM; 5AM - 7PM More later, Wally
Good evening. In order to avoid risk to your health from rotting food, TRES has engaged a cleaning company to enter all 144 units to empty out your refrigerator and freezer, in addition to disposing of any non-canned food sitting out on your counters (like bread, onions, fruit). The cleaning crew will be starting early Friday morning from 32 and working their way down with the intention of finishing the job on Friday, although it may run in to Saturday. They will remove everything from that appliance with the exception of unopened beer and unopened wine. They have been asked to also leave behind liquor, whether open or not, since that won't go bad in the heat. They're not "cleaning" that appliance. They're merely removing all products, including items that haven't yet likely rotted, like pickles in a jar. The reason for removing everything is that, although we all hope to all be living back in our building in a few days, it could take a lot longer. We only want to do this one time. We can't time the rotting of your food. Should they see mold, they'll spray it with an appropriate chemical product to kill that growth. They'll leave the appliance doors open and put in a commercial version of baking soda to help absorb odors. They'll double bag these items in the thickest commercial grade of garbage bags available and take them down the stairs for disposal. While there, they'll shoot a photo of what's in your appliance, in the event you're able to make an insurance claim. They'll close the windows to your unit, since having them open enhances the danger in the event of fire. The cost of this emergency service breaks down to $109 per unit. This will be paid initially by TRES, then billed to each unit. Questions / Answers: Why are you doing this? The rotting food presents a significant potential health issue for all residents. The air system is shared. One rotted unit stinks up and shares mold with a non-moldy unit. Can I be present, since I don't really want strangers in my unit? No. That's not practical, since you can't be in a condemned building un-escorted by security or their designee, per the fire marshal, which means security can't hang out with you while they wait for the cleaners to get there. Can I at least make an appointment so that I can be there? No. This is a time-sensitive operation that needs to run smooth. I have some items in there which I don't want removed. What are my alternatives? There will be security personnel available to escort you to your unit on Thursday from 9 AM until 1 PM, and again from 4 PM until 7 PM, to give you an opportunity to get your items out. Bear in mind that you can NOT use the trash chute, since that system is currently under water, however, you're welcome to come in Thursday during those times to bag your own stuff and bring it to the dumpster, currently located on Fulton. The cleaning company is bonded and insured. They'll be overseen by security. Can I only use the dumpster on Fulton? Use any one on the our property. What if I already cleaned out my rotted milk, eggs and cheese but left my pickles and other stuff I'm positive won't rot? Am I still paying $109? Yes. Unless you remove it, it will be removed for you. This is for the health of all residents. We must avoid getting in to discussions / arguments over what will or will not rot. Will my insurance pay for this? That's your issue. Why won't TRES insurance pay for this? We don't have rotting food insurance. What if I've already cleaned out all but cans or bottles of beer / wine / alcohol, then left those bags on my deck? Do I pay $109? Great question, and after researching this with the cleaning company, unfortunately, the answer is yes. We still need the cleaning company to go in, put your bags in their bags and haul it all downstairs. The labor is close to the same. What if I don't have any garbage on my deck, and my refrigerator is spotless? You're still charging me $109? No, in that event, there will be a $20 per unit charge since the cleaning company must still document the condition. What if I want to help my neighbor out who already gave me their key and I plan to take their trash down the stairs and throw it out. How do I get security to authorize that? That's an issue between you, your neighbor and security. They've been extraordinarily helpful and cooperative so far. The spoilage issues and health concerns prompted this decision as provided in Liber 4843, Page 051 of your condo documents. On that page 13, it says, in part the following: "The Association or its agent shall also have access to each unit at all times without notice for making emergency repairs necessary to prevent damage to other units, the common elements, or both." Your Association deems this an emergency situation for the health and welfare of all occupants of our building. ENTRY TO CONDOS - The hours for escorted unit entry for Thursday, April 25, 2013 are from 9:00AM - 1:00PM and 4:00PM - 7:00PM. VOLUNTEERS - If you would like to volunteer to assist other co-owners in removing or retrieving items from their residence, please just go to the Escort Stations on the 2nd Floor and when a co-owner needs assistance, your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you ! Thank you very much for your patience as we all work through this situation. Respectfully, Michael Cagen TRES Vice President
Mlive Article: How 12-foot sewer pipe poses obstacle to Plaza Towers return. 1. Food in refrigerator---this is becoming a health issue because of anticipated smell from spoilage. If you have not removed, do so when you go up today; we are trying to coordinate for tomorrow times when all on a floor can go up with one guide. We might have to hire people to remove. It is a tough logistical problem. There is a dumpster in the apartment circle to put stuff. 2. Parking----available in Amway lot on SW corner of Fulton and Market (where we go when ramp is being cleaned.) 3. Mail—for foreseeable future is available thru condo circle entrance from 11-2 and 5-7 thru Friday. We are working on staffing for weekend. UPS and some Fed Ex have been delivered there. Those that have not you can perhaps look for messages on your landline which is operating. 4. Blog—plazatowerscondominiums.blogspot.com----you can use for communication among owners. The board probably will not be participating in exchanges but will review to see if any consensus. 5. Entry to condos—still 9-5 today. We are considering changing hours. 6. Housing—EllenBylsma@yahoo.com is coordinating this so if you have needs or can offer housing please contact her. 7. Reentry---River is not recedeing as fast as we hope and only after it is down to normal level can basement be pumped, equipment dried and assessed , and have it operating (temp fixes will be used to expedite) We are at the mercy of mother nature so we can only speculate when. Wally Knack
FLASH - Mail is now being sorted, Tuesday, April 23, 2013, and readied for delivery. You may pick up your mail Tuesday from 11:00am - 2:00pm and 5:00pm - 7:00pm. You need to enter at the Circle Drive door, but you cannot park in the Circle Drive because of the pumps working on the water. Plans are being worked on for mail delivery after today and, once established, will be updated here.
1) Mail: We have arranged for mail to be delivered to Plaza Towers. Saturday's and Monday's mail may be picked up at the Main Post Office between 5 and 7pm this evening, (Monday, April 22). Beginning on Tuesday,April 23, some one will be available at the Circle Drive door from 11 until 2pm and again from 5 until 7pm to give you access to your mailbox. Some FedEx and UPS packages have been accepted and may be picked up at the security desk in the Courtyard lobby although we don't yet have longer term arrangements. 2) Freezers and Refrigerators: Catch trays for water and ice makers will be emptied by housekeeping personnel. We are working on the fresh and frozen food problems but do not yet have a solution. 3) Blog for owners: A blog web site for owners to exchange information will hopefully go on line Tuesday afternoon, April 23. 4) Electrical circuits in condos: Security has or will have tripped your circuits so that when the power goes back on, there will be no surge. 5) Update on return: Water pumps to drain water in the basement are running. In fact, our Circle Drive will be closed today (Monday) to provide for another pump to be installed. But after the water is out, we still need to have fire protection, electrical power and safe water available to our condos before we can reenter. Thus we have no prediction as to when. 6) Assistance for co-owners or lessees: If you know of anyone who needs a place to sleep, please contact me (Wally Knack) at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have some generous offers of lodging. If Angie or the Board cannot help with your concerns, there is a general disaster relief number to call: 211. 7) PTA has flood insurance which should cover expenses involved in getting the building back into operation. We are meeting with the TRES insurance agent tomorrow to see what coverage we have that might be applicable. We do not know what your individual policies might provide. My personal policy does not provide for loss because of flood. Wally Knack