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Frustrations building as fire alarm violations still aren't fixed at midtown condos

Posted: 8:49 PM, Mar 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-20 21:49:06-04
Park Reserve Condo problems

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Frustrations are building for people living in a midtown Kansas City condominium complex where several fire code issues still haven't been addressed.

The developer of the Park Reserve Condominiums, Wayne Reeder, and the Park Reserve Homeowners Association are in a tense back-and-forth over who should be responsible for fixing the fire alarm and sprinkler system. The issues are at the Yellowstone and Grand Teton buildings, 2940 and 2980 Baltimore Ave.

The complex has failed multiple fire inspections over the years. The Kansas City Fire Department recently found multiple code violations.

Two weeks ago, the fire department ordered that Reeder fix the system or else people would have to evacuate. The fire department said it received complaints in February.

The fire alarms at Yellowstone have since been restored, but the sprinkler system still needs to be fixed. The Grand Teton fire alarms and sprinklers are not working.

"Once we turned it over to the HOA, it's their responsibility," Reeder said as 41 Action News caught up with him at Grand Teton on Wednesday.

Alex Malloy, the HOA president, says otherwise.

"We need things up to code. So, these inspections that we have, that we've obtained, show things aren't up to code. Why should the homeowners be responsible for that?" said Malloy, who lives in the Yellowstone building.

The residents at both buildings were ordered to do fire walks, taking turns walking the halls to be on the lookout for any issues.

"Every week we operate knowing there will be an emergency," Malloy said.

The fire marshal visited the property last week and issued fines for the remaining fire system violations at both buildings.

The Yellowstone elevator is out of order. The Grand Teton elevator's emergency call system panel is beeping.

Reeder put the blame on the HOA, alleging the group is vandalizing their own building.

Reeder said vandals spilled diesel gas in the elevator room and broke a light on Tuesday night. He claims the HOA members are breaking the fire alarm system themselves.

"They could destroy us if they could," Reeder said.

The HOA denies the allegations.

Malloy showed 41 Action News an outstanding bill of $517 from Avid Communications, the company that provides the Grand Teton emergency fire line system. The management company the HOA hired said Reeder has not paid up.

"I have the bill. He's the one who set up the fire line, not me. He set it up. He's responsible for paying for it," Malloy said.

Reeder's attorney, Phil Klawuhn, said he was not aware of the Grand Teton alarm system failure and said he'd look into the outstanding bills.

Reeder has continuously taken out temporary occupancy permits on both buildings since he first started developing them eight years ago. The city said it is now looking into whether all the units actually have permits.

"Everything we've done is according to code, passed code and is occupied temporarily with the final coming forth," Reeder said.

The city says the buildings still aren't finished being developed and that there are units that are not complete.

Because the buildings are still under construction, the HOA feels that Reeder has more responsibility than he says.

Fire marshal inspectors plan to return to the property on Thursday to look at the Grand Teton fire panels. A full inspection is scheduled for March 28.