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SANTA MONICA : Quake-Damaged Medical Plaza Reopens in July After $3-Million Work

June 22, 1995|EMELYN CRUZ LAT

St. John's Medical Plaza will be back in business next month after a three-month closure for earthquake repairs.

The $3-million restoration of the five-story building on 20th Street will be completed by next week, said contractor Bill Cohen of TriTech Asset Services Group.

The building, owned by a cooperative of St. John's Hospital and Health Center doctors, was voluntarily vacated by tenants in April after engineers discovered substantial damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Engineers estimated that cracks in the building's steel frame weakened the beams by as much as 90%, said J. Randall Moore, president of Morlin Management Corp., which manages the building.

In one area, crews found a steel beam severed in two places, he said. Ultrasound testing was used to find the damage that was hidden by concrete.

More than 100 doctors working at the plaza found temporary offices nearby. Construction crews have worked around the clock, seven days a week since the building was vacated several months ago.

Repairs to the building's frame were completed last week, Cohen said. Crews are now painting walls, ceilings and installing carpets.

The doctors and their staffs are expected to begin moving back into the building by mid-July.

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