Beachwalk Villas residents forced to vacate "unsafe" building - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Beachwalk Villas residents forced to vacate "unsafe" building

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Vacationers and homeowners in the Beachwalk Villas condominium building were all forced to leave after officials deemed it unsafe.

According to documents obtained by WMBF News, property management company Coldwell-Banker Chicora hired an outside engineering firm to inspect their building.

The engineering firm, according to documents, found flaws in the building's ground level columns making it unsafe.

The firm reported their findings to Horry County Code Enforcement, which, in turn, notified Coldwell-Banker Chicora on Wednesday everyone inside the building would be forced to leave.

Thursday, residents of the building found signs posted on the Beachwalk Villas building by Horry County Code Enforcement on every door saying they needed to vacate the building immediately.

Support beams in the parking garage on the ground level of the building could be seen wrapped in yellow caution tape, several with apparent cracks.

Residents and vacationers at Beachwalk Villas could be observed moving their belongings using shopping carts and hotel dollies Thursday in an effort to vacate the building.

Beachwalk Villas resident Marvin Christensen said he has owned a condo in the building for two decades, and for the first time in years he has no idea where he is going to stay.

"The problem is with something this immediate is [the management company] made no provision for someone who was a permanent resident here," Christensen said, "and they expect us to move out immediately."

Toronto native Harold Barry Van Camp said he, his wife and their friends have rented a condo in the Beachwalk Villas for a month every April for the last seven years.

Van Camp said on-site management was able to find them new rooms in a different building, but Christensen said he has not been as lucky.

During a phone interview Thursday, representatives of Beachwalk Villas management group, Coldwell-Banker Chicora, said they are still trying to gather information about the county's decision to deem the building unsafe, determine a plan of action to fix any problems pointed out in the engineering firm's report.

The Coldwell-Banker Chicora representative also said they have not made any accommodations for permanent residents of the building.

Christensen spent much of Thursday moving all of his belongings to storage units, and said he has no idea what to do next.

"Now I have to find a place to live and they expect me to do that immediately?" Christensen said.  "It's not going to be easy."

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