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Dolphin Towers residents face harsh reality

February 2, 2011 — By Kevin McQuaid Herald Tribune

Repairs to Dolphin Towers may cost up to $10 million, and any move home is still far off.

SARASOTA - Repairing cracked and corroded concrete in Dolphin Tower will cost $5 million to $10 million, an overdue engineer’s report is expected to conclude.

Completion could take years because the work would not occur until after a potential lawsuit between the 117-unit tower and Great American Insurance, the building’s property carrier, is concluded.

If that timetable holds, the tower’s residents -- many of whom are elderly -- will have to wait until 2013 or beyond to return to the 15-story building at 101 S. Gulfstream Ave.

“People there have been told to make other plans for 2011, at the least,” said Alan Tannenbaum, a Sarasota attorney representing the building’s homeowner’s association.

At a recent meeting, residents also were told demolishing Dolphin Tower has been considered, but at this juncture, it continues to make economic sense to try fixing the 37-year-old building.

“We’re confident that the building still can be repaired,” Tannenbaum said. “It will be more expensive and extensive and take longer than originally anticipated, but we still think it can be repaired.”

Shortly after the building was evacuated in late June, it was estimated that repairs would take three months and cost roughly $1 million.

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Reprinted courtesy of Kevin McQuaid, Herald Tribune (Sarasota, Florida). Mr. McQuaid can be contacted at kevin.mcquaid@heraldtribune.com.

Dolphin Towers residents face harsh reality