Residents of Seaview Lofts wonder what happens next as doors to condemned building locked for holiday weekend

Seaview Lofts in Newport News
Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 18:39:57-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - After being given just two days to take their things and go, the 200 tenants of Seaview Lofts in Newport News are about to spend their second night away from their homes.

News 3 has been following this story since Wednesday, when Seaview Lofts residents learned the building was unsafe and they had to leave.

Saturday morning, some people returned to the apartment building to grab some last-minute personal items. It was a very different scene from Friday's chaos, when Seaview Lofts was officially condemned.

"Just grabbing a couple more things," a woman named Radia told us at the Seaview Lofts Saturday. "My paperwork I needed, birth certificates, stuff like that."

Radia, a tenant of Seaview Lofts, told us she got help after Wednesday's news — the city provided hotel rooms for her and the others forced out of their homes.

While she said the hotel was "perfect," the city told us that hotels are only booked through Wednesday, though that might be extended. The elevator inside, a big reason for the building's condemnation, is still not up to code.

A News 3 investigation revealed that it failed multiple inspections, and the building's owner, Seaview Apartments LLC, faces numerous charges for various code violations. That's on top of the $70,000 in water bills the city accuses Seaview of not paying.

Friday, the attorney representing the owner sent News 3 a statement blaming the lack of repairs on supply chain issues.

Building employees on-site Saturday didn't want to speak on camera, but told us they were in the dark on the issues and are staying in hotels themselves. They also say TK Elevators is scheduled to come back out on Tuesday to try and make the necessary repairs with the hopes the city will clear Seaview Lofts to reopen.

“I don’t want to think about it, because I got a 15-year-old kid that needs to go to school and stuff," Radia said. "It’s just not the time to be homeless.”

She also told us that regardless of whether or not residents can return to Seaview Lofts, it won't remain home for long.

"If we can come back, I’m going to come back first and then I’m going to look for another place so I don’t have to go through this," she said.

Employees we spoke with said that those collecting personal items Saturday have to be with a staff member. Afterwards, their plan is to lock the doors until Tuesday.