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New Cameron Village apartment tenants get shuffled after fire sprinklers spring leaks

The sprinkler system at Six Sixteen Oberlin Apartments, which were still under construction on Oberlin Road in Raleigh August 2016, has sprung a leak. Tenants are being moved to new apartments as repairs are made.
The sprinkler system at Six Sixteen Oberlin Apartments, which were still under construction on Oberlin Road in Raleigh August 2016, has sprung a leak. Tenants are being moved to new apartments as repairs are made. cseward@newsobserver.com

Tenants of the newly completed 616 at the Village apartments will be shuffled between the building’s five floors as crews replace a leaky fire sprinkler system.

The structure’s fire-suppression system passed a March inspection from City of Raleigh fire marshals, but sometime later tiny leaks began developing in the joint fittings, city spokesman John Boyette said. The general contractor then reported the problem, applied for a permit and submitted plans to replace the fire sprinkler system.

The existing system will stay in place while crews begin installing a new system on the top three floors, Boyette said. Residents will be relocated to the first and second floors, said 616 spokeswoman Marissa Currie. The building at 616 Oberlin Road is managed by Wood Partners, which has corporate offices in Atlanta.

After the system is replaced on the upper floors, relocated residents will return to their units and residents on the first and second floors will then be temporarily relocated within the building, Currie said.

The company has already notified the 17 affected residents and will cover all relocation costs for those who have opted to relocate within the building, she said. Residents who choose to break their leases instead may do so with no penalties, and the company has offered up to $1,000 in moving expenses.

About 40 of the building’s roughly 200 units are currently occupied, Currie said. So far, only one resident has chosen to not stay in the building.

The fire sprinkler system is made of CPVC piping, which is significantly more flexible and can withstand higher temperatures than standard PVC piping.

When the system was inspected, it was pressurized with water and still has water in the pipes now, Boyette said.

The fire marshals gave final authorization to allow the building to be occupied in March, and leaks sprung up sometime after that, he said. A cause for the leaks has not been determined.

The company will replace the existing system by putting in an identical new system. The existing system, which meets fire codes, will remain in place until the new system has been inspected and approved, Boyette said.

“Once all approvals are met, we anticipate the initial floor will take approximately three months, with subsequent floors being faster,” Currie said.

Tenant applications are still being accepted, and officials anticipate new residents should be able to move in by August or September.

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