Midtown residents return home week after partial crane collapse

For more than a week, a Midtown Atlanta apartment building remained desolate.

Brandon Marcano, an assistant manager in the leasing office and a resident of Tens on West, was thrilled to return home and welcome back his neighbors Tuesday.

The roughly 1,000 residents of the apartment complex were told May 22 that they had to immediately evacuate after a counterweight on a crane at an adjacent construction site became dislodged and one of the four structures that attached it to the building fell away.

“The neighboring GC (general contractor) and their crews worked tirelessly over the last week, including the holiday weekend, to get you back into your homes as soon as possible,” management wrote in an email obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The evacuation forced all residents out of their homes and several nearby businesses to close. Portions of both West Peachtree and Spring streets between 10th and 11th streets remained shut down until Tuesday evening.

Marcano, who lives on the fifth floor of Tens on West, stayed at a nearby hotel, just like many other residents. For their troubles, they will be given a per diem rent deduction to compensate them for the eight days they had to live elsewhere.

“There were like seven different options that we could choose from and they covered everything,” he said. “We’re also getting credit back for rent while we were out of the building.”

The partially collapsed crane was being used to build another high-rise apartment building that neighbors Tens on West. Four people working on the building, which is being built by Toll Brothers Construction, were injured. They were released from the hospital the same day, according to a spokesperson for Balfour Beatty, the general contractor working at the site.

Marcano said he returned home Tuesday, as did Brent Parrish, who took his fiancé and their dog, Bruin, to visit his parents in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Since the apartment complex was closed for a week, management said services were not fulfilled and additional cleaning would be necessary to restore the building. Regardless, Parrish said he, like others, was glad to be back.

”Seeing my parents was great and it helps to have a safe place for me, my fiancé and the dog,” Parrish said, adding the trip was nicer and more relaxing than being cooped up in a hotel room.

Parrish, a 37-year-old who works in consulting, moved to Midtown from Boston nearly a year ago with his partner. The two have a one-bedroom unit on the top floor and enjoy the walkability that comes with in-town living, regularly taking their lab mix to the park.

He said the constant construction is typical for the bustling area of town but thinks better precautions could be taken to protect residents and visitors.

“Had the crane broken and fallen southwestward, our unit would have been in the line of sight,” he said, noting the equipment’s counterweight looms over the dog park he visits multiple times a day. “I have a lot of anxiety every time I go out there right now.”