(WSVN) - For more than two years, some Coral Springs condo owners have been trying to stop the city from tearing down their building. But now, it could be just days away from being demolished. 7’s Heather Walker has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
James Haddad, condo owner: “To your left is #20, and to your right is #21.”
Now boarded up and fenced in, it’s a building James Haddad cherished for 21 years of his life.
James Haddad: “There’s a lot of memories here. I raised my 23-year-old kid here.”
He owns two units at the Villa Bianca Condominium in Coral Springs. But back in 2021, he and other residents were forced to pick up and leave.
James Haddad: “The city came in, and they said, ‘You didn’t fix the roof, we gave you two years, therefore we’re kicking everybody out.'”
Since then, Haddad has been moving from place to place and forced to spend some nights in his car.
James Haddad: “I wouldn’t call myself homeless, but I would say I was pretty close to it. It’s like a nightmare.”
The building’s owners did try to repair the roof.
James Haddad: “We had a plan. The roofing company wanted 10% just to get started. Everybody gave me checks but the one person.”
They attempted to get a loan for the total cost of the roof, but couldn’t, and that was the last straw for city officials.
James Haddad: “The city is talking demolition and has voted unanimously to demolish the building.”
Haddad and the other owners hoped they could recoup some of their investments by selling the building before it was torn down.
James Haddad: “‘We demolish it, and you walk out with nothing.’ That’s 20 years of payments I made.”
So they hired realtor Holly Iannucci. She found buyers who were interested but hit a wall with the city.
Holly Iannucci: “A buyer can’t close on a property that’s going to be demolished. The city has been unresponsive and just continues to say that we’ve already passed the appeal deadline, and there’s nothing that they can do.”
7 Investigates reached out to the city. They tell us they gave the building three extensions through the Unsafe Structures Board, and since the condo failed to make the changes within the time frame , the city says it is moving forward with tearing down the building.
Still, the owners are hoping for a last-minute resolution.
Holly Iannucci: “These are hardworking, middle class Americans. I would just ask that the City of Coral Springs have compassion for the owners and just give us a limited window to stop the demolition and close. We only need about two weeks. That’s all we’re asking for.”
James is not sure how he will support himself if the building is demolished. But Holly says she’s not done fighting.
Heather Walker 7News.
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