Dallas Permitting Office Building Closed Over Fire Code Violations

Dallas’ city-owned office tower, housing permitting department workers, shut down due to fire code violations. Despite spending millions on renovations, the building faces safety concerns.

Dallas officials have closed an 11-story office tower on N. Stemmons Freeway after discovering multiple fire code violations. Despite spending millions on renovations since 2022, the building lacked proper certification and had numerous safety issues, prompting concerns for the safety of city employees.

Reports from Dallas Fire-Rescue revealed that the building at 7800 N. Stemmons Freeway, which housed some city permitting department workers, had numerous violations during inspections in February and April. Violations included a lack of certificate of occupancy for the entire building, malfunctioning fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.

City employees had been working in the building from December to April despite these violations. However, mounting concerns forced the closure of the building, forcing permitting employees to relocate to their old office in Oak Cliff.

Andrew Espinoza, the city’s development services department director, and Dallas’ chief building official, did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry stated that the closure was necessary for further work on the building’s fire suppression system, IT infrastructure, elevators, and connectivity.

The closure comes after a complaint was filed in January, citing various safety issues, including malfunctioning fire alarms and overflowing toilets. Despite efforts to obtain certificates of occupancy, none had been issued as of Wednesday.

The city council had approved the purchase of the tower in August 2022, aiming to centralize various departments. However, ongoing safety concerns have raised questions about the effectiveness of these efforts.

As investigations continue, city officials aim to address safety issues and ensure a secure working environment for employees.

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