TAMPA — The charitable foundation for radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has a contract to buy Tampa's historic Jackson Rooming House, with a closing scheduled Monday, according to Clem's agent.
The price was not disclosed, but agent Tom Bean said the foundation "absolutely" plans to restore the aging structure and a news conference is planned for Wednesday.
Known for a roster of guests from Billie Holiday to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the two-story rooming house on Zack Street is on the National Register of Historic Places and Florida's Black Heritage Trail. But it needs an estimated $1.5 million in repairs to its foundation, roof and virtually everything in between. Tampa officials have said the house is unsafe and must be repaired — or else.
"Whoever the owner is, they have to comply with the order to repair, and if that doesn't happen, there's going to be an order to demolish that's going to be issued," City Attorney Julia Mandell said Thursday.