Luxury Houston skyscraper evacuated after ground loops

The luxury skyscraper Royalton at River Oaks was evacuated on Thursday following structural failures that led to widespread flooding and unsafe conditions for the building’s residents.

ABC 13 reported Friday that the opulent condo complex at 3333 Allen Parkway is currently undergoing repairs following collapsed sections of concrete on the first floor. Building management sent an email to residents detailing the ‘unknown’ cause of the outage, including broken water pipes that caused flooding on residential floors, according to the email obtained by ABC 13.

“Structural engineers will be on site within the hour to begin an assessment,” the email said. “The cause of the damage is unknown at this time. To summarize what we have found so far, the first floor concrete has buckled near the business center/management office and the water main has collapsed. are broken on some residential floors.”

The email continued to explain that water remediation repairs were underway on the first floor and that two companies were working to drain water from the building, which was described as having suffered damage “important”.

Servpro water purifiers were working to drain water Friday afternoon at the Royalton in River Oaks on Allen Parkway.

Matthew Kitchen / Chron

“We don’t know how long the evacuation will be in place,” the email said, adding that Royalton management will be communicating with residents via email as the building’s phone lines are down.

The Houston Fire Department told KHOU’s Lea Wilson that responders arrived at the building after an automatic alarm went off around 7 p.m. Thursday night. A statement provided by the ministry pinned blame for the warped floor on a broken water pipe eroding materials on the first floor.

“Water was flowing in the lobby and the floor had buckled due to a major water main break,” the department said in a statement, according to KHOU. “A wall was also structurally damaged.”

Unit prices for the incomparable building atop the crown of River Oaks range from $300,000 to over $1 million. The 33-story structure was built in 2003 and in 2019 received planning permission that paved the way for a $1 million renovation of its first floor – a remodel that included replacing a wine cellar with a new office in the back of the building, according to the Houston Business Journal.

An email request for updates on repairs and evacuation at the Royalton in River Oaks was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

About Michael Brafford

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