Midtown apartment residents cleared to go home after evacuation order lifted

Streets in the area reopen 8 days after partial crane collapse
A crane partially collapsed May 22 in Midtown Atlanta, displacing 1,000 residents of a nearby apartment complex.

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

A crane partially collapsed May 22 in Midtown Atlanta, displacing 1,000 residents of a nearby apartment complex.

After being forced from their Midtown Atlanta apartment complex more than a week ago when a construction crane partially collapsed next door, residents have been told they can return home.

Tens on West, located in the 1000 block of West Peachtree Street, told its 1,000 tenants Tuesday night that the evacuation order has been lifted and that streets in the area will be reopened.

“We want to be the very first to welcome you home!” management said in a letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Portions of West Peachtree Street and Spring Street had both been closed since the crane, which was being used to build another high-rise apartment building, malfunctioned May 22 and injured four workers. It happened when a counterweight on the crane became dislodged and one of the four structures that attached it to the building fell away.

Crews had been working since then to make the necessary repairs.

“Although you will see continued work on the crane at the neighboring construction site,” the letter continued, “per the Atlanta Fire Department, the safety concerns causing the mandatory evacuation order were resolved.”

The injured workers were released from the hospital the same day, according to a spokesperson for Balfour Beatty, the general contractor working at the site.

But residents of Tens on West were forced to leave most of their belongings behind and find alternate housing.

Many displaced residents ended up staying in Atlanta hotels, but others opted to stay with family members or friends. Wood Residential, the complex’s management company, said their leaseholders would be eligible for discounted rates at the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites “for the duration of the mandatory evacuation” and said Balfour Beatty would pay up to $99 per night.

In Tuesday’s letter, Tens on West said residents would receive a one-time rental concession, without elaborating on a total.

“We understand this situation impacted your lives and want to demonstrate our commitment to your happiness and comfort,” management said. “Therefore, the concession will be applied to your account, reflecting a reduction in your rental charges for the corresponding period. This gesture intends to help alleviate some of the inconvenience and disruption caused by this unfortunate event.”

The cause of the crane failure has not been determined. Georgia’s Safety and Health Administration is investigating, and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens previously said other state and city agencies would also conduct a thorough probe.

Two years ago when a crane malfunctioned at a nearby construction site, that situation took nearly two weeks to resolve.