The state's fire marshal issued an emergency order Thursday barring occupancy of the DiRimini apartment project after the developer apparently continued to move in residents in defiance of city orders. The state order, posted on every door in the 31-unit project at 733 N. Capitol Ave., says the building poses a "serious and immediate hazard of death or serious bodily injury." State officials inspected the building on Wednesday and found it does not contain fire walls between apartment units or a working sprinkler system, brazen violations of the Indiana Building Code. The order, signed by Indiana State Fire Marshal James L. Greeson, also notes that a required exit on the fourth-floor was not built as proposed, and that exit-stair treads do not meet the code.
The city's department of code enforcement has cited developer Jeff Sparks with several violations for building a project that differs in 35 ways from the approved plans. Sparks has not returned multiple phone messages. It still isn't clear how city and state inspectors could have missed so many violations until the building was almost complete and a neighborhood group spoke up. A spokeswoman for the department of code enforcement said the developer secured permits for one set of plans but built another.
IBJ first reported on the controversy in a print-edition story on Oct. 2. A list of the 35 violations follows that story. Blog posts on the DiRimini saga, which include the original rendering and fixes proposed by the developer, are available here, here and here.