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Pinellas Park completes purchase of mission property

PINELLAS PARK — After a flurry of last-minute negotiations, this city became the owner of a mission that caters to the homeless and has long irked nearby residents and elected officials.

The deal became final late Monday — the last day of 2012 — about 10 days later than originally scheduled. The snag concerned a lease agreement between the Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission and Dolphin Plumbing, a few doors down. Pinellas Park also finalized the purchase of the Dolphin property on Monday.

Under the original agreement, the city agreed to pay $370,000 plus an estimated $5,140 in closing costs for the mission's properties at 5625 and 5663 Park Blvd. The sale was scheduled to close Dec. 21 and the Haven of Rest had until the end of January to clear out.

The city also agreed to pay $250,000 for the two lots at 5681 Park where Dolphin is located.

But after the agreement was signed, the city found out that Dolphin had rented its second floor to the mission for residential use. It was unclear how the rental agreement might affect the city's ability to do what it wanted with the property.

After some dickering, it was agreed that Pinellas Park would buy both the mission properties and the Dolphin land but would give them until March 31 to clear all residents and others out of the three buildings. In return, the city held back $25,000 of the purchase price for the mission land to use for attorneys fees if it has to take legal action to make the residents leave. If all goes well, the mission would get that money.

The purchase gives Pinellas Park six of the lots on the north side of the 5600 block of Park. It has agreed to buy one more lot at 5609, which is currently occupied by IHK Security.

Although one prime goal of the purchases was to rid the area of the mission, the city plans to use all the property for a project to improve its redevelopment area. It is unclear what form that might take.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Park completes purchase of mission property 01/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 6:38pm]
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