Over 6-Weeks Later, Residents of Apartment Hit By Crane Are Still Waiting

More than six weeks after a deadly crane collapse, frustration among some of the more than 500-residents of the Elan City Lights Apartments is growing.

On Facebook, resident Johnathan Ross has created a Facebook group demanding better communication from the apartment's manager, Greystar.

"I don't feel they have been transparent or effective communicating broadly or individually," Ross said.

On Saturday, Ross has organized a meeting outside his now former home where he hopes other residents will join him to speak out.

This week Greystar sent a letter to residents offering some insight into the timeline for removing personal items. It can be read below.

In a statement Greystar told NBC 5 in part: "Our goal has been and always will be to communicate accurate information as soon as we receive it."

Resident Austin Adams said he was initially impressed by how Greystar handled the incident but in recent weeks has become frustrated.

"I think they did a fantastic job the first week however two months later I can't say they've handled it the same way," Adams said.

Adams has since moved to a new apartment but like most former tenants, still does not have any of his furniture.

"I'm concerned all my furniture has mold, it's going to be ruined and I won't know until I pick it up," he said.

Greystar has said that some residents will be able to begin scheduling pickup as early as late July but according to their letter to resident's, pickup for most is still likely weeks away.

And for residents in the impact zone, removal of items is contingent on the crane's removal. OSHA handed over jurisdiction of the crane to its owner but a timeline for its removal is still unknown.

Saturday a group of more than a dozen displaced residents met, demanding better communication from Greystar.

"Some of them are saying their insurance companies are saying it is hard to communicate with Greystar," Ross said. "Which is making it hard to determine what to pay out to residents."

"They haven’t given us any timeline of when they are going to remove the cars. So, it’s frustrating," Rodney Hill said. "I still have some valuables in the cars."

Here's a look at the letter Greystar sent to residents offering some insight into the timeline for removing personal items.

Dear Residents:

We continue to sympathize with the frustration you are experiencing regarding your inability to access your belongings since the crane collapse. Recovery crews have been on site since July 15th working 10-12 hours every day to inventory and pack apartment contents in preparation for transport to a secure storage facility where these items can be reclaimed.

As we mentioned in our last communication, this work has been necessarily detailed and time-consuming. Because of its complexity and the many factors outside of our control, it has been difficult to estimate specific timelines and to provide you with meaningful interim updates, until certain processes have been largely completed and we can communicate this information accurately. Here is our latest update:

Phases I and II

As we discussed in our previous communication, Phase I consists of 184 apartments outside the impacted zone and Phase II consists of 116 apartments within the impacted zone, that we were able to re-evaluate for access and recovery (please refer to the attached map).

Phases I and II are being processed concurrently:

• Condition assessments, inventories and the packing of sensitive items have been completed for all 300 units in these first two phases.

• Recovery workers are now in the process of packing general belongings. They currently have 71 units fully packed.

• In addition, they have been able to recover resident belongings from 31 storage units located within these two phases.

• The contents of the completed apartments and storage units are now being transported to the storage facility where they will be unloaded, checked in, secured, and staged for pick up.

The planned order in which items will be moved to the storage facility are as follows:

• 1st & 5th floors

• 2nd & 4th floors

• 3rd floor

Residents will receive detailed information by the end of this week about the process to reclaim their belongings. Once their property is ready for pick up, they will receive another email from the storage facility to schedule an appointment to reclaim their belongings. Residents who have been notified that their items are ready for pick up can begin scheduling appointments on Saturday, July 27th.

Recovery teams are expected to complete the packing and transport of the contents of the remaining units within Phases I and II by August 18th.

Residents who have not already provided us with their current email address should contact the Elan City Lights team at (214) 965-6018 or by email at elancitylights@greystar.com so we can update this information.

Phase III and IV

As we discussed in our previous communication, Phases III and IV include areas of the building directly impacted by the crane collapse, including the entire parking garage and other areas that are structurally damaged, unsafe to enter, or that may contain evidence that OSHA has ordered to be preserved (please refer to the attached map).

These portions of the building are still inaccessible, and we will not be able to begin any potential recovery efforts in these areas until the crane has safely been removed, the preservation zone has been released by government officials, and a structural engineer has deemed the area as structurally sound.

A plan to remove the crane is currently being finalized. When we have that finalized plan, we will update you at that time. We will also let you know when we can begin accessing some of these areas to assess their condition and potentially recover additional resident belongings and vehicles. If you have further questions, please contact the Elan City Lights team at (214) 965-6018 or by email at elancitylights@greystar.com.


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