On December 10, 2021, a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, IL causing it to collapse and killing six people. 40 Amazon employees survived the EF-3 storm, and lawsuits have already been filed. The tornado reportedly caused the roof to tear off, allowing the walls to fall into themselves, pinning whoever or whatever was underneath. The victims who died were pinned inside a bathroom, where they were reportedly directed to go by Amazon management as the storm rolled in.
The warehouse was built using tilt-up construction, which consists of prefabricated concrete walls that are lifted into place and supported by the roof placed above them. Strong winds during a tornado can travel up these walls and blow the roof off, leaving nothing to support the concrete walls, which then collapse. While this form of construction is not tornado-proof, it does meet the building code.
What We Can Learn from This
The most important thing that anyone seeking to buy commercial real estate can learn from this is to do their homework on the construction of the building. Buildings collapsing due to a tornado or other strong storm have occurred frequently in the past to those built with tilt-up construction. It is important to understand how severe weather can affect your property and subject you to potential litigation if anyone is hurt or dies. Buying and owning a commercial space is not simply measured through square footage; it is critical to understand the risks that you are taking on as an owner.
What to Do If You're Looking to Purchase Commercial Real Estate
If you're looking to purchase commercial real estate, having an attorney's help can be beneficial. An attorney can help you assess the pros and cons of your desired property and negotiate and draft your purchase contract. If you are facing eviction, foreclosure, or have other real estate questions, then call us so we can help!
Get Professional Assistance
To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney at The Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, call us at (347) 389-1682 or contact us online.