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Apartment Building Cited Several Times Before Porch Collapse Injured Man

By Benjamin Woodard | March 27, 2015 5:31am
 The concrete and metal porch crashed to the walkway below earlier this month.
The concrete and metal porch crashed to the walkway below earlier this month.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

WEST ROGERS PARK — An apartment building in Rogers Park was cited repeatedly by the city for problems with its porch since 2010, well before its concrete and metal balconies crashed to the ground earlier this month, injuring a man, according to city records.

The building at 6250-56 N. Albany Ave. failed multiple city inspections over the years and was issued violations for failing to maintain its exterior porch that leads directly to the front doors of apartments.

Although building owners pulled permits to fix the porch in 2012, it is unclear from online city records if the work was done. The most recent city inspections don't mention the porch at all — until after the collapse.

Building owner Nasrullah Khan, of SNK-Farms LLC, was reached by phone Thursday but then quickly ended the call without commenting. Khan also owns the building at the southwest corner of Lunt and Western avenues, which had its digital billboard removed after complaints from the city.

The porch collapse injured a man when the walkway crumpled into a heap of concrete, iron and steel about 11 a.m. March 9.

The city's most recent inspection, after the collapse, cited Khan with a failure to "rebuild or replace dilapidated and dangerous porch," according to the inspection report.

The inspector noted "undersized and overspanned" uprights, deteriorated iron joints with rusted holes, undersized guardrails and rusted stairs and landing supports.

The inspector also noted evidence of damage from thermal expansion, relating to the effect of heating and cooling on the structure.

But the first reports of a busted porch came in 2010 when building inspectors demanded a structural engineer prepare a written report about the integrity of the metal structure. Rust and corrosion was also noted.

Then, in February 2011, inspectors cited the building owner with a failure to maintain the exterior stairways in a safe condition, noting rust, missing sections of concrete and structural design issues.

A year later, when Khan and his partners bought the building, a permit to fix the porch and stairways was filed, but it's unclear from city records what, if any, work had been done. The permit estimated the costs of repairs at $7,000.

"According to our records, the building owner did not request a follow up inspection after the permit was issued, as any owner is required to do," said Mimi Simon, a spokeswoman with the Department of Buildings.

Simon said the violations were referred to the city's Department of Law to process for Cook County Circuit Court. A court date is scheduled for April 20.

Failed inspections later in 2011 and in 2012 cite other issues but make no mention of the porch.

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