Malfunctioning elevators leave
residents of Northwest Miami-Dade
By: ENRIQUE FLOR
24 Dec 2014
residents and disabled residents who live at the Mirassou condominium
in Northwest Miami-Dade have had to rely on relatives and neighbors to
help them up and down the stairs. The elevators in the building have
been broken for years. In this photo, Aida Ortiz holds documents
outlining complaints while Miguel Corral, another resident, looks on.
ROBERTO KOLTUN EL NUEVO HERALD
For Mariano Borges, getting to a doctor’s appointment or going out for
some fresh air becomes harder each day.
The 95-year-old Cuban gets around on a wheelchair. His 70-year-old
daughter Maria Perez and his 50-year-old granddaughter Cary can barely
lift his wheelchair to carry it up and down the stairs to the
third-floor unit where they live in Northwest Miami-Dade.
It’s been almost six years since the elevators of the building where
Borges lives and those of three other buildings in the Mirassou
condominium complex do not work properly.
According to public records, Miami-Dade County has cited Mirassou with
fines exceeding $5 million.
“The truth is that we made a huge mistake buying an apartment in this
place,” said Borges’ daughter. “It’s been years since we had a working
elevator and despite our complaints, nobody fixes it.”
Michael Chavez, manager of Miami-Dade’s Office of Elevator Safety, said
that when the elevators of the three and four-story buildings at the
Mirassou began malfunctioning in 2008, the county sent out infraction
The violation penalties amounted to $5,065,120.
According to Chavez, authorities have sent out more than 5,000
notifications in the past six years requesting that the condominium
association repair the elevators. But that has yet to be done.
Marlene Leon, president of the Mirassou Association of Propietors,
declined to comment about the problems affecting the condominium
complex, which includes a total of seven buildings and 310 apartments.
Representatives of the company that manages the complex, Florida
Property Management (FPM), did not respond to several phones from el
Nuevo Herald seeking comment.
In an email, Chavez said that Mirassou’s condo association often argued
that they “didn’t have money to repair the elevators.”
According to neighbors, maintenance fees for the complex varies
depending on the size of the unit but most residents pay about $300 per
“Everything that’s happening here is worrisome,” said Aida Ortiz, a
resident who has lived at Mirassou for eight years. “The elevators
don’t work and the people who suffer the most are elderly people and
people with disabilities who have to constantly be helped by their
families and neighbors to move up and down the stairs.”
“For years we’ve complained and it’s just gotten worse,” she said.
Maintenance problems also have affected common areas at the Mirassou
condominium located at 6075 NW 186 Street. One of the two pools at the
residential complex was shut down and has been chained under lock and
key for months.
According to neighbors, the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008 brought forth
the foreclosure of several of the complex’s units. Since then, the
inhabitants of the properties facing foreclosure remained in the
apartments waiting to be evicted but without paying for any services.
But as of the last couple of years, the majority of the apartments have
been rented again.
Jones, 19, has to carry his brother David Jones, 10, to the third floor
because elevators at the Mirassou condominium where they live in
Northwest Miami-Dade have been broken for years. ROBERTO KOLTUN
Almost directly in front of Ortiz’s apartment, on a second floor, lives
David Jones, a 10-year-old who has a congenital malformation known as
Spina Bifida, and who also gets around on a wheelchair. In order to
leave the building, his 19-year-old brother Aikem must carry him up and
down the stairs.
“We do this because the elevator has been broken for several years,”
David Jones said.
Miguel Corral, a Venezuelan who bought a two-bedroom unit on the second
floor seven years ago, decided to move in October 2013. He lived there
with his mother, an 80-year-old woman who uses a walker. The elevator
was broken then, too, as far back as 2009, Corral said.
“It frustrates us, the level of indifference that the directors of the
association and of the company that administers the condominium have
shown,” said Corral. “No one shows face to try to find a solution.”
Drimmer —VP Business Development at Association Financial Services
25 Dec 2014
I have been following this condominium since August 19 2009 when some
residents reached out to me and my company for help in collecting
delinquent assessments and funding. On August 24 2009 I met with the
board of directors (same board who is in power today) at the management
company's office (same management company). We presented them with a
comprehensive rescue strategy and we were promptly ignored. OK no sale.
Six year latter I see that this same board and same management company
are running this community association and they have went from bad to
disastrous of biblical proportions. Here are two questions: One:
after so many years of unbelievable mismanagement is this board and
management company still running this condo? Two: Why would a board of
directors want to continue to remain in office after so many years of
problems? Everybody should think on that.
Why has the membership not voted these people off the board after six
years of mismanagement. Why has not the DIVISION OF FLORIDA
CONDOMINIUMS, TIMESHARES, AND MOBILE HOMES stepped in and done
something, and why has the municipality not done anything but fine the
association and not enforced the building codes.
The only option left for this condominium at this time is to declare
bankruptcy because if it is true that they have five million in fines
they will also have other back breaking expenses they cannot meet that
will permit people to live in code compliant buildings.
25 Dec 2014
Over the years there has been several owners that have attempted to
make a difference at Mirassou. Doing everything in our power including
getting personally involved in helping find, negotiate and implement
solutions to keep our working class community afloat. One of the major
challenges are all the foreclosures. In order for the owners to force a
change in the board we have to have a certain % of owners voting. Well
the banks don't vote. Many of us have also approached the ombudsmen,
governmental officials and agencies to no avail. Many are afraid to get
involved due to retaliation that others have faced and continue to face
after getting involved. Here are links that have documented past
efforts and current from owners and residents of Mirassou:
With the amount of debt we currently have I fear that the solution will
be assessments that will only drive out the few owners that are still
here and paying.