Asbury Park condo owners complain of constant leaks, mushrooms growing from walls

One condo owner says mushrooms were seen coming out of his walls.

Jim Murdoch and Lanette Espy

Jan 26, 2024, 5:14 PM

Updated 140 days ago

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A historic building in Asbury Park now home to around 80 condominiums continues to draw complaints from condo owners who say their lives have been interrupted by constant leaks.
Several residents who live at the Santander building contacted News 12 New Jersey looking for help and answers. One of the condo owners, J Michael Roberts, told News 12 he’s been unable to live in his unit for 15 months.
Several owners of units in the Asbury Park historic Santander building contacted News 12 after they say they can no longer live in these conditions. (Photo: Jim Murdoch/News 12 New Jersey)
Roberts says issues began in his unit after heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ian leaked into his ceiling in 2022. This made the ceiling collapse. The problem was so bad that he says mushrooms were seen coming out of his walls. He says he built a contraption to collect water that sends it into his bathtub.
Santander building in Asbury Park. (Photo: Jim Murdoch/News 12 New Jersey)
Neighbors documented problems at the Santander building going back to 2008. Since then, two new roofs have been placed on the building. However, tenants like Roberts say they are out tens of thousands of dollars.
Santander building in Asbury Park. (Photo: Jim Murdoch/News 12 New Jersey)
News 12 has reached out to the attorney who represents the homeowners and left a message with DSV Property Management, which oversees the Santander building.
Attorney Martin Cabalar, counsel to the Homeowners Association, said in a statement to News 12:
"We were initially retained by the Association as litigation counsel to pursue construction defect claims against a design professional that the Association had engaged over a number of years to prepare plans for remediation of water infiltration issues and then oversee the work of the contractors performing full-scale façade and roof repairs. That lawsuit also now includes claims against the contractors who performed the façade and roof repairs for deficient performance of that work. The lawsuit was a necessary initial step towards holding those who are responsible for the water infiltration issues accountable.
Notwithstanding the litigation, the Association is also working with its engineers to develop short- and long-term remediation plans. The first step in that equation required extensive review of the project history. Once that was completed the engineer scheduled various field inspections to develop the appropriate knowledge of the conditions, to put the engineer in a place to make recommendations for remediation. Most recently, the Association informed the residents that its engineer completed its inspections of the building, including several of the units at the Santander Condominium, to document the conditions and cause of the water infiltration. While it was not possible to get the engineer into every single unit, a sufficient enough sampling of units was inspected to document the cause of the issues and prepare a plan that can be implemented for repairs. The Association will be implementing short-term remediation measures to mitigate the impact of water infiltration, but unfortunately the investigations reveal that there is no singular quick fix.
The Association understands that the residents are frustrated. The members of the Board are frustrated with the leaks too. The current management company and current members of the Board inherited these problems. The current members of the Board sought their positions on the Board to develop solutions to these issues and are committed to continuing to make progress each month towards remediation. That started with retaining the appropriate professionals, whether that be management, legal or engineering, and seeking advice on how to proceed. We are now at a place where we met with the engineers this morning to set out the full plan and prioritization and will begin to have contractors bid on applicable remediation scopes."


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