guest blog by Deborah Goonan
This is the fate of a 1970s motel, converted to condos in 2003. By 2010, this low-rent condo hotel was in Receivership. Almost all of these units are leased to tenants, but apparently the Association is not putting the assessments to work, or dealing with a vacancy problem.
The condo complex has been reportedly plagued by drug trafficking, especially heroin, and was the scene of three murders in 2014. Residents say they fear for their safety.
According to reports, Blossom Park Owners Association has racked up $175,000 in code violations from Orange County. The staircases were recently deemed unsafe, and 2nd and 3rd floor residents had to be relocated until repairs can be made. Elevators are also inoperable. Some residents have moved to the first floor, but if repairs are not made to the seven buildings soon, the remaining residents may face eviction.
Where is all the money going? Obviously the owners are collecting rent from tenants (listed on Realtor.com for about $600-$650/month), and at least one resident was interviewed, stating that she pays $200 per month for maintenance fees. And the attorney receiver states there will be a special assessment to cover the cost of needed repairs and payment of fines.
This is just one example of condo blight in Florida. The question is why does the state of Florida keep allowing condo conversions? What was the logic behind approval of Blossom Park in 2003? Did Orange County really think that an old broken down motel would become an affordable haven for some lucky owners? Or did they count on 350 separate landlords screening their tenants and keeping their units maintained? Clearly, it isn’t working. Orange County has been working with Blossom Park for almost 5 years, and conditions have not improved.
This is similar to bringing a fifty gallon barrel of grain to a dead horse. No amount of money obtained from assessments is going to restore this place to anything worth living in. It’s over.
And for now, it’s just bleeding the taxpayers money while the county deals with it. Time for the investors with bulldozers. This is where the legislators need to step in and require the investors to make buy-outs that leave the owners whole.
Nila, investors in Florida are only interested in quick turnaround profits. Tens of thousands of condo owners are being ripped off, as investors decide to dissolve condo conversion projects that have never been solvent. But investors are cherry-picking their redevelopment projects and they are NOT making the owners whole.
What’s worse, there are several drafts of legisltation pending in Florida that are supposed to help these condo owners, but they appear to be written to benefit the majority investor onwers rather than the residential condo owners.
The situation with Blossom Park is that nearly all the residents are tenants with limited income, and apparently several of them are involved in criminal activity. This is located in an area of town known for crime. I doubt this site will ever be redeveloped as residential again. It will likely be rezoned for other uses.
Latest news on Blossom Park. All seven buildings have been condemned, but not yet evacuated. The Orlando Sentinel reports that 113 children live at Blossom Park. Court appointed receiver seems to be AWOL.
Best news yet. Now, where are the legislators with those Section 8 checks to provide these people with a place to live?
This is what frustrates me. We can help people all over the world with billions of dollars but we have Americans living in a place where the fire department is sitting watch due to dangerous conditions. Insane. Totally insane.
This story should be all over the media…all across the country…and CAI should be on there telling just how great HOAs are! And we should all be there telling the truth because this is one place that the truth has spoken for itself.
This is not the only HOA/COA in America that isn’t safe for habitation.
By the way is the AWOL man a CAI member?
Thanks for the update, Deborah! I love the way you follow-up on the subjects of your blogs.
Mr. Barber’s Realty and Management Company
Yet another update–now the residents are being advised to get out of Blossom Park.
Here’s the difference between apartments and condos.
If investors are building apartments they will be build with a much higher quality because the investors don’t want to spend money making one expensive repair after another. Of have buildings cracking and condemned for habitation.
If investors are building condos they know they are going to dump the problems on to the innocent victims that have no clue what they are buying into. They don’t care about any quality as long as the paint looks new and the model unit looks impressive. The standards of construction are far different.
Does any one know the present status of the condo. I own one condo and immediately after purchase the City has declared the place is not safe. The owner must get together and pool in the money and get the repair done. Forms an association and elect a board and get the work completed
Does anyone know the present status
I would suggest you contact Orange County, FL, for current status. I thought it was closed permanently.