A partially completed luxury condominium development on South Padre Island on the Texas Gulf Coast is slated for demolition after it has settled by 14 to 16-in, more than double the settlement of the attached parking garage. The developer, Ocean Tower LP is seeking $125 million in damages from the geotechnical engineering and structural engineering firms. They determined repairs were not “economically feasible” and a lawyer for Ocean Tower LP estimated the developer had invested about $65 million in the project. Source: NY Times via ASCE SmartBrief.
In case you missed the background on the Kilbuck Landslide (or here or here), it happened in Kilbuck Township, PA back in in September of 2006. To deal with the political hot potato and media nightmare, Wal-Mart bought out the developer on the unfinished property and began handling remediation of the slide itself. Now, it appears as if they want their money back from the developer! Read on for more details.
The Chilliwack Times reports that the City of Chilliwack will pay 80% of the assessed home value for up to 42 homes in an Eastern Hillside subdivision that are located on a slow moving landslide. The issue was first noticed in 2001 and several homes have had significant damage, but most are currently undamaged. The City denies any responsibility, but it’s legal counsel recommended a settlement. (Photo by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times)
Normally the geotechnical engineer for the subdivision would be held accountable. But apparently the slip surface is located 30-m below grade, much deeper than borings for a typical investigation for a subdivision. I wonder if there were any geologists consulted? Click through for a Google map view of the area and you can do your own armchair photogeology quarterbacking! Your heart does go out to the people losing their homes, they had no idea. But it could be worse, they could be in La Jolla and be getting squat.