URBANDALE, Iowa — More than 30 people at the Plumwood Terrace Condominiums in Urbandale were displaced when their building burned down on January 1st.
Now, eight months later, they have no idea when construction will start, let alone when they can move back in.
“You cant sleep, your mind gets so full of what you have to do or where you have to go, and you don’t know what to do,” said Plumwood tenant Karen Powell.
Powell is at the end of her wits and said she will soon be at the end of her money. Her insurance was able to put her up in a replacement apartment for a year.
“My biggest concern is wondering what’s going to happen on the first of January, or maybe I’ll get to the first of February, but either way I’ve got to find a place.”
Powell had expected construction to start on her condo by now, but this is all that’s there is a foundation that she’s still paying a mortgage on and her homeowner’s association fees.
“When talked to the mortgage company, I said, ‘you mean I pay for air?'” Powell said.
According to updates from Plumwood Terrace to its residents, the board of directors is placing blame for the delay on the architect, Wells and Associates. Updates show on March 15th, the architect was there to present the floor plans and make any changes needed. On May 2nd, an engineer conducted a survey and said, “Wells and Associates and State Farm expect the bid award to go to the contractor by the middle of the month.”
By May 30th, Plumwood said it didn’t have an update and “the problem is with the architect firm of Wells And Associates. Their sense of urgency seems missing in action.”
Channel 13 reached out to Wells And Associates for comment regarding this allegation, but did not receive a response.
Meanwhile, preliminary plans were sent to five contractors on June 8th, and a statement was released saying, “Wells said they should have plans ready by June 20th.” However, according to Plumwood, the plans and the drawings were not sent out for bid until July 27th.
“I hate to say it’s driven me crazy, because I’m not crazy. Getting close, but I cant express any other words to tell you how much it’s affected me,” said Powell.
The project liaison, John Ruppee, says the bids have to be returned by August 15th. Ruppee says in 2010, Wells And Associates was able to complete a similar project at Plumwood Terrace in 52 weeks.
Channel 13 also asked Wells and Associates if there was anything different in this project that would have caused delays, but did not hear back at the time of publication.