INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Tucked away off the Wabasso Causeway, Marsh Island is dotted with a dozen or so beautiful waterfront homes. It's the good life that's now getting just a bit better. That's because a multi-million dollar unfinished home is being demolished. It had been vacant for four years, sitting with no windows or doors.
"It got to the point where it was almost too late to do anything about it because it sat for so long," said HOA President John Von Hagen.
Von Hagen came out just after sunrise Wednesday to record the demolition as it began. The couple building the home had to walk away because of financial problems so it became a neighborhood problem, and a bank problem.
"It's in foreclosure but they haven't actually taken ownership of it so as a result, they don't pay any fees, any taxes, any of the homeowners fees," said Von Hagen.
Over the summer, Indian River County commissioners agreed to split the $19,000 dollar demolition cost with homeowners. While some eyebrows might be raised that some taxpayer money was spent toward a demolition in a gated community, residents here argue that they too are taxpayers and that the county came out to make sure the property fit the requirements to be condemned, then torn down.
Jill Jones is a contractor who lives next door with her dog, Ziggy. She watched the home go up in fits and starts, and is now pleased to see it come down quickly.
"The main thing was we had debris flying off of it, it was a hazard. There was an abandoned pool shelf in the bank full of gunk," said Jones.
The demolition crews have worked on projects as large as shopping centers, and the old Ft. Pierce Central High School, but this is one of the biggest homes they've ever tackled.
"We usually start right from the front and work our way in and tear everything inside and use the walls to keep everything contained," said Michael Beckford of LEB Demolition.
The demolition crews say if everything goes as planned, there won't be anything left on the site by next week.
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