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City committee says Flats at Mixson not up to code

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North Charleston’s Public Safety and Housing Committee unanimously agreed Monday afternoon that The Flats at Mixson apartment complex is not up to code and should be evacuated.

Samet Corp. added temporary shoring for balconies in The Flats at Mixson, which has been plagued by water leaks and cracked stucco. (Photo/Ashley Heffernan)

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The three-person committee gave the complex’s owner, The Flats at Mixson L.P. — an affiliate of Atlanta-based investment firm Jamestown L.P. — 180 days to bring the buildings back up to code.

The 2-year-old complex, located in the Park Circle community of North Charleston, has been plagued by water leaks and cracked stucco.

In early May, renters were informed that they would need to vacate the premises over concerns that the buildings might be unsafe to live in long term. On May 23, the city committee heard from the complex’s owner and the contractor, North Carolina-based Samet Corp. Samet built the 10 structures for $21.8 million.

Representatives of the owner and builder who spoke at that meeting, including attorneys and engineers, disagreed on the severity of the damage and the cost of the repairs. The committee did not vote last month on the issue, opting instead to recess until Monday.

Chairman Sol Morse said the committee visited The Flats during the interim, but he refused to answer questions regarding the site visit or the vote, except to say that the committee “followed city code.”

Callie Wamsley, a spokeswoman for The Flats at Mixson, issued a statement after the vote.

“It is important to reiterate that the structural concerns are long-term and do not pose an immediate threat to residents as they move out,” she said in the emailed statement. “We are committed to ensuring a safe and orderly move-out and will continue to support our residents.”

Chip Bruorton, an attorney with Rosen, Rosen and Hagood LLC who was hired by Samet, said the company is not sure how it will proceed at this time.

“We’re waiting on the written order from the committee, and we will look into our options as to what we can do legally from that point forward, depending on what the order says,” Bruorton said. “It’s always been Samet’s position that these buildings can be fixed and don’t have to be torn down, and it appears that the committee has agreed with that.”

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