4.16.2009

Empty Florida homes may return to nature

·The Georgetown apartment complex in Tampa was slated to be replaced with luxury condos -- until the market fell in. Now the land may become a bayfront park.[...and people are being thrown out of their homes elsewhere!]

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-na-emptyapts16-2009apr16,0,7360762.story
Empty Florida homes
The Georgetown Apartments in Tampa, Fla., sold for $125 million in 2005 to a group that wanted to build luxury condos and town houses. Banks bought it back in December after foreclosure proceedings. Now part of it may become a bayfront park.

Reporting from Tampa, Fla. -- The Georgetown apartment complex was one of this city's most coveted properties back in 2005. Now Greg Chelius and Alex Size were touring it as if examining an exotic ruin.


They walked past the unmanned guardhouse and its broken windows. Size snapped photos with a digital camera. Chelius lifted the green fabric on a fence tacked with No Trespassing signs.

Building after building loomed in the near distance, all of them quiet and vacant. From Chelius' vantage, it was difficult to judge their condition.

"We heard they were in such bad shape they'd have to be taken down," he said.

"It depends on the drywall," Size replied. "And the rot. And the mold." [...they just let it all rot away... :( ]

They walked the eastern edge of the property, stopping at a place where they could glimpse -- through a thicket of weeds and Brazilian pepper trees -- the blue water of Old Tampa Bay, lapping at the property's edge.

As if on cue, a circling pelican dive-bombed for a fish.

"It's just outstanding," Chelius said.

These two men have big plans for the Georgetown property, 160 acres on the southwest side of the Tampa peninsula. But they are not planning to build.
Read more on this 'scandal', here...

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