Brian Hope, a 36-year-old attorney, moved into a Brickell condo at Quantum on the Bay in October. He signed a one-year lease for unit 3701, which has one bedroom and a sweeping view of Biscayne Bay. He was quite pleased. But then, a couple of days after moving in, he noticed a godawful odor. "It was atrocious," he says, "a really, really strong sewage smell."
The funkiness didn't go away. It was so nauseating, Hope says, he couldn't even spend the weekends at his own place. When the wind blew from the west, it filled the hallways with the smell of crap. Other residents also began to complain.
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A building manager explained toilets and sinks inside empty units were causing the scent and that management would now maintain them more regularly. When nothing got better, Hope did some investigating. What he found: "It's actually a construction error and they're not telling people." He explains a 30-foot wall on the roof is twice as tall as a nearby exhaust vent that spews the sewage odor.
Building manager Sergio Ubilla says the condo is working on fixing the problem. "We've hired a firm to look over any defect and whether the developer is responsible." Poor ventilation is partly to blame, he says, and so is the piping.
Hope was lucky enough to finagle his way out of the $250,000 unit (call it lawyerly skills) but is concerned for owners. They might be stuck with a somewhat, um, shitty investment. "I was there for two months total -- just in and out," Hope says. "It sucks for all the other people."