In 2011, the village notified Shuckers’ owner Charles Grentner that since the building was 40 years or older, it had to be inspected. Jawitz completed his report almost two years later.
Grentner, whose family has shied from the media attention, issued a statement late Friday expressing grief and saying they were “dismayed” over the events.
On Monday, through publicist Seth Gordon, they did not respond to questions about the incident.
Village records indicate Grentner considered building a new deck behind the building on the 79th Street Causeway in 2009. Despite spending thousands of dollars on plans, permits, engineers and architects, the plan was abandoned. The city never issued a final permit for the deck.
According to county records, Grentner was issued a Class I construction permit in February 2010 to replace the concrete platform at the restaurant and bar, the entire wooden deck and the L-shaped deck attached to it. Only the dock was rebuilt, however.
The 25-foot-wide deck was going to be supported by 27 concrete pilings, with a 2 ½ foot retaining wall with an aluminum railing. The project, which would have required a barge and a tugboat, was expected to take no more than eight weeks.
Gregorio Batista, a structural engineer and member of Broward County’s Unsafe Structures Board whose company has done hundreds of inspections in Miami-Dade and Broward said, like Jawitz, he doesn’t believe there are any regulations calling for commercial deck inspections.
Still, he said, “It really needs to be looked at after 40 years. People sometimes jerry-rig buildings. They can become unsafe.”
Miraculously, only 24 of the 100 or so people on the deck Thursday night were injured, two seriously. Fifteen people were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.
On Monday, piles of debris still rested on the bay bottom behind the restaurant.
Huge planters were tilted over, chairs and tables strewn about. The large wooden deck, split almost in half, rested at an odd angle. The entire seawall was torn away from the restaurant structure on land, now resting sideways under the water.
North Bay Village police have ruled out criminal activity or overcrowding as the cause for the accident.
Anyone still searching for private belongings like wallets, purses or jewelry should contact North Bay Village Police and fill out a report.