Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Demolition work begins at long-neglected Davis Islands mansion

The city of Tampa began demolishing a crumbling 4,000-square-foot Davis Islands mansion on Tuesday.

For five years, the unoccupied and neglected home's Severn Avenue neighbors watched as its stucco crumbled, pests and teenagers used it for their own purposes and the yard became overgrown with weeds.

Inside, there is extensive water damage, including mold and mildew, code enforcement officer Alan Villa said when the agency's board met last month. Photos show torn drywall and a hole in the ceiling where the second story collapsed.

The home was deemed uninhabitable after hurricane damage in 2005 or 2006, said Dennis Lopez, a lawyer representing owners John and Mary Perez.

The demolition will cost $15,000, said Sal Ruggiero, manager of the Neighborhood Enhancement Division, and a lien will be placed on the property to reflect that.

The Perezes also owe $3,800 in fines from a previous code enforcement violation.

Though they'll soon have a vacant lot next door instead, neighbors say they are looking forward to the change.

Times staff writer Shelley Rossetter contributed to this report.

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