(WSVN) - Instead of a view of crashing waves or beautiful skyline, some residents in Bay Harbor Islands look out their windows and see corroding metal and unfinished construction. They’ve been staring at this for years. 7’s Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Kevin Ozebek: “So this is your view?”
Amy Silverman: “This is it. This is the view.”
Every time Amy Silverman walks out onto her balcony, she gets a bird’s eye view of rusting rebar, stagnant water and an unfinished foundation.
Amy Silverman: “I don’t sit out on my balcony much anymore because it’s so awful.”
Amy is not the only one in Bay Harbor Islands who is livid over the state of this lot.
JoAnn Kerbawy, Bay Harbor Islands resident: “It’s just a dump. It’s just awful. All I can see when I walk by is rust.”
Gene De Souza, Bay Harbor Islands resident: “It’s just been too long. Our patience has really run out.”
What many call a depressing eyesore is supposed to The Sophie, a modern, sleek condo building filled with 26 spacious units.
Construction on The Sophie started, but those living nearby say they have not seen construction crews here in two years.
Kevin Ozebek: “What do you want to say specifically to the developer?”
Amy Silverman: You should be ashamed of yourself.”
The Sophie is a project of Allure Development Group.
Oscar Acosta is one of the company’s co-owners.
Oscar Acosta, Allure Development Group: “The lending group that were helping us put this together, they basically went south.”
Oscar says the project became strapped for cash, so construction was halted.
Oscar Acosta: “When you have a construction site that has stopped and in a standby mode for more than six months, everybody gets desperate, and I understand. Of course it’s not beautiful to see a foundation.”
But beauty isn’t the only issue. Some say the construction is costing them money.
Eric Mintz owns a condo that overlooks the site. He says, despite the red hot real estate market, last year he had to take his condo off the market.
Eric Mintz, Bay Harbor Islands resident: “Six months, people came to look, but no offers. At this point, something needs to be done.”
The town manager of Bay Harbor Islands tells 7 Investigates the town continues to seek compliance from Allure Development Group.
She sent us pages of town documents that show the property has racked up more than $810,000 in code violations.
Amy Silverman: “I mean, $800,000? I thought you were going to tell me, like, $80,000 or $50,000.”
But Allure Development says funding has again been secured, building plans are being updated, and construction could start within a few months.
Oscar is asking people like Eric to be patient, saying property values will rise once The Sophie is erected.
Oscar Acosta: “Thank God he hasn’t sold his unit, because he’s going to be able to sell it for much more money. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be wonderful, and they’re just going to love it.”
As for whether neighbors will love The Sophie, those in this patch of Bay Harbor say they will make that call after it is actually built.
The Town of Bay Harbor tells us Allure Development is in the process of obtaining a building permit, but construction cannot begin until plans are approved and the fees from code violations have been paid or settled.
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