Residents from River Oaks condominium unsure when they'll be able to return amid structural concerns

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
When will residents return to their River Oaks condominium?
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Residents got through their first weekend away from their home at The Royalton high-rise, which is still not allowing people in as repairs are going on.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Residents at one of Houston's most well-known high rises still don't know when they will be able to return to their homes.

The Royalton at River Oaks was evacuated last Thursday night after its first floor flooded, and crews have been working ever since to clean up the mess and evaluate the building for major structural problems.

SEE ORIGINAL STORY: The Royalton at River Oaks high-rise condo building evacuated amid structural concerns

Inspectors said they still don't know what caused the building to flood and the concrete to buckle.

Those same city inspectors will have to sign off on the building's structural integrity before anybody is allowed to move in again.

The property will be required to get structural, plumbing, electrical and possibly mechanical permits for long-term repairs, according to the Houston Department of Public Works.

Pietro Milillo, an assistant professor at the University of Houston's College of Engineering weighed in, saying satellite technology shows the building doesn't appear to have shifted.

"Right now, by looking at the points located at the east facade, we do not see any signs of structural stress. However, this does not imply that the building is safe," he explained.

Several residents said they have hired lawyers.

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