PORT TOWNSEND — The tenants in six waterside units of the Admiralty Apartments have been relocated after the owner and building officials discovered that the back all was bowed and structurally unsound.
City officials were called on Friday to inspect the back wall of the building at 129 Tayler St., which sits over the water on pilings.
“The three-story building by Union Wharf is in a position where it is failing,” City Manager David Timmons said. “The wall is bowed out and has been temporarily braced for safety,” he said.
Six units were evacuated upon the recommendation of the building owner’s engineer.
“All residents have been relocated, and we were able to find two residents temporary housing,” Timmons said Friday.
Erickson Partnership of Bainbridge Island had inherited the structure from a family member at the first of this year, Timmons said.
“We knew there were structural problems with the building,” Timmons said Saturday.
“The owners have been trying to do what they can do.”
Timmons said building management recently told residents of plans to renovate the entire building. As yet no permit applications have been filed with the city.
The owners “did a followup inspection on Friday and found that one wall on the far south was failing,” Timmons said.
The partnership has hired a contractor to do stabilization work. Once that is done, tenants will be allowed to move back in. No time estimate has been announced.
The Admiralty Apartments offer 10 market rate and 38 units subsidized by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for seniors 62 years and older, as well as disabled households.
“The south wall is susceptible to failure,” Timmons said. “This is the problem with these old buildings. Because of the rising sea level and the major winter storms we’ve seen, damage has been accelerated.
“We saw this with The Belmont hotel this year and with City Hall in the past,” he added.
An earlier version of this story that said that city officials planned more inspections on Saturday was incorrect. Those inspections were done Friday, Timmons said Saturday.
Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].