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Residents allege poor construction at another Kosene condo project

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The homeowners association at the Packard condominium plans to file a lawsuit this week against developer Kosene & Kosene Residential and other companies, alleging the 62-unit building downtown was "improperly constructed and is deteriorating."

Inspectors hired by the association found the condo building's exterior walls are rotting and 16 units have mold because the building was constructed without required weatherproofing to allow water to escape from behind the façade, said Tom Blair, a board member.

The association plans to spend $2 million to $3 million on a six-month repair project that includes removal of the existing façade to the studs. Windows and doors would be removed at times, but residents would continue living in their units. The city's Division of Planning gave its administrative approval for the project on June 22.

Packard mold 15colInspectors have found that the 8-year-old Packard's exterior walls are rotting, and that 16 units have mold. (IBJ Photo/ Greg Andrews)

Blair said the association can't afford to wait for a resolution to the lawsuit to begin the fixes. A construction loan will cover project costs until a judge decides who is ultimately responsible for the bill, he said.

Kosene finished the three-story Packard building at 450 E. Ohio St. in 2004. The company managed it until 2010, when the homeowner's association brought in its own management company.

Kosene & Kosene principal Gerry Kosene acknowledged "some legitimacy" to the concerns raised by residents, but he said it wasn't yet clear which subcontractors were responsible or how inspectors missed the problems. He noted the company has insurance that should cover the cost of any repairs.

"We know they've alleged certain things," Kosene said. "We're having our consultants go through it. Certainly it's a black mark, but we have people we relied on who didn't come to the table."

Kosene & Kosene Residential also is facing allegations of shoddy construction from residents at its 70-unit Hudson condominium, which it finished in 2006 a few blocks west of the Packard at 355 E. Ohio St.

The Hudson lawsuit says residents last year began noticing cracks in the first-floor walls and ceiling, and a slope in their floors. An engineering firm hired by the homeowners association concluded that improperly installed truss hangers had slipped, causing the floor trusses to move.

There was no estimate on what those repairs would cost.

Blair, the Packard board member, said the association consulted with two engineering firms that agreed on the repairs required. The plans call for a new façade made up of brick and Hardi-plank siding to replace the existing brick and stucco. The new materials would be of a similar color to the existing ones.

He said the lawsuit will name multiple defendants involved with the construction of the condo building.

"It's a problem that has plagued the building from the beginning," Blair said.

Jeff York, a veteran city planner, said he couldn't recall another case where a newer building had serious enough defects to warrant a new facade.

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  • coconut point
    We also have many water leaks, and construction defects
  • coconut point issues?
    Potential buyer looking for possible litigation against (prior) developer of Coconut Point Condos in Estero, FL. Please respond if you have knowledge. I would appreciate it!
  • Turn the rock over
    At the end of the day Kosene is responsiable. They are 100 % resposiable. They hired the gc who hires the sub contractors. When all you worry about is your bottom line and you hire incompedent sub contractors. You get what you pay for. Low job cost and bad installations. About the inspectors they inspect for code issues. Not if you installed the product correctly. Sub Contractors you know who you are and what you did or did not do. The project manager for the job has the job of over seeing his trades on that job and should have weekly reports and a paper trail back to Kosene. Lets see how many lawsuits have been filed ?
  • kosene
    "some legitimacy" to the concerns raised by residents, but he said it wasn't yet clear which subcontractors were responsible or how inspectors missed the problems . . . Kosene was paid by the COA to manage the building from 2004-2010. They knew of problems from the beginning, did little to fix them and hid them from the owners. It takes a lawsuit to get them to do anything!
  • When will Kosene & Kosene be stopped?
    Note the lawsuits mentioned in this article. Then note the link on the left side of the page - "Kosene & Kosene embroiled in 62 lawsuits". SIXTY-TWO lawsuits? I wonder if Gerry Kosene thinks there is "some legitimacy" to all 62 of these lawsuits? Hopefully Kosene and Kosene is held accountable for the shoddy work done at their properties, among other things.
    • Obvious
      There's a reason nobody works with this company TWICE. Also, the guy who made that place run left for Milhaus. It's only gonna get worse
    • Beware
      This is a wake up call to all of those looking for a condo. Check the builder, check past projects and check the news. These Kosene projects are deader than the cars they're named after.
    • Codes & Inspections
      The building codes are based on a NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL code conference. The legislature has little to do with writing code. It is the State Fire Marshalls office/Homeland Security that oversee this process. Building Code is adapted for MINOR local ordinances. The code is good - contractor liscensure and education in Indiana BLOWS !!! Marion county is the only central Indiana county that requires a "license" or a $250 check really. No skills or knowledge required ! I am a licensed remodeling contractor that repairs "custom builder" homes every day. Kosene has some responsibility, but the general contractor, superintendant(s) and trade contractors need to do some studying on their craft. Also aren't enough qualified and experienced inspectors. Our permit fees keep going up, but service gets worse. So much of the work we see everyday is 90,95,98% right, but only 2% or less wrong can destroy a structure. If stucco is involved, I can tell you whats wrong with the product without even looking at the installation. all in the details - don't point the finger solely at Kosene. LOTS more culpable players.
    • Kosene
      You all are funny. Kosene is one of the biggest political contributors to the Mayor and other powerbrokers in the City. Nothing is going to happen to Kosene.
    • Kosene at Fault
      As deveolper, Kosene didn't follow common construction techniques. Kosene didn't follow the architech's plans. Kosene didn't follow city codes. As the building's management company, Kosene didn't fix problems. Kosene didn't respond to owners complaints about leaks. Kosene hid all problems from the owners & the COA Board. It's happened to The Hudson. It's happened to The Packard. Will it happen to The Clevelander? Will it happen to The DeSoto? Will it happen to The Maxwell? What about all the other Kosene properties? Please, put these guys away before they hurt others!
    • Another Kosene suit
      Tougher codes won't matter if the developer is negligent. The headline says it all.
    • shoddy is ubiquitous
      Just because something hasn't crossed someone's desk doesn't mean it hasn't happened.
    • An enforcement issue
      Not disputing the need for better codes, but this is really a problem of code inspection and enforcement. The City should be named in the lawsuit. This is supposedly why we have inspections, to avoid these kinds of problems.
    • Indiana Laws On Codes
      Unfortunately Susie, Indiana law prohibits building codes from being changed in any appreciable way if such changes have a cost impact to development projects. This is a fancy way of saying that the Indiana legislature has put developer costs ahead of improvements to building safety and other related advances. Thus, any new codes adopted in Indiana from this point forward must be "watered-down" because the Indiana legislature believes this will prevent all new development in the State. Of course, this fails to consider that the other 49 states continue to improve the level of safety in their codes while Indiana fails to do so. BTW, this is why you are seeing, and will continue to see, a proportionately higher percentage of construction and code related issues (i.e. failures) in Indiana.
    • Inspectors
      Are these the same inspectors that had DiRimini days away from occupancy despite numerous code violations?
    • Indiana Building Codes
      IN building codes need to be refined to match or surpass the toughest codes in other states. Could this pass code in states with tough building codes............

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