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December 28, 2009

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Buyers view collapse complex

THE Lotus Riverside complex on Luoyang Road in Minhang District opened to prospective buyers for the first time since a 13-story building toppled over there on June 27.

Over the weekend, a total of 436 buyers were invited to view sample rooms in the remaining 10 buildings.

A worker was killed when Building 7 collapsed. The nearby Building 6 has been reinforced and construction work at the complex is coming to end, according to officials from Vanke, the real estate company which took over construction and sales of the remaining buildings.

Vanke promised buyers that they would have their apartment keys before May 31 next year.

The complex originally had 629 apartments in its 11 buildings before the June incident.

A compensation plan offered by the developer enabled people who owned units in the toppled building to sell them back or to purchase another apartment in the complex at a 5-percent discount. Owners of units in undamaged buildings could receive a rebate if they chose to stay or sell their apartment to Vanke.

A large majority of apartment buyers signed agreements with the developer to remain in their undamaged units.

The accident was due to improper earth removal and the excavation of an underground garage next to Building 7, according to a government report. The report also confirmed that the accident caused the adjacent Building 6 to move a few centimeters horizontally and developers were advised to strengthen its foundations. Other buildings were not affected and met safety requirements.

Complex developer Shanghai Meidu and builder Zhongxin Construction Co Ltd were fined the maximum 500,000 yuan (US$73,212) and had their licenses revoked.

Seven people, including the legal representatives of the developer and the builder, were detained by police.


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