New chapter to West Palm Beach eyesore?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Eyesore is exactly how neighbors describe a property that is really the gateway to West Palm Beach.   

It sits on the west side of Crystal Lake just north of Okeechobee Boulevard and can be seen from I-95.

"It’s a prime location in the city," said West Palm Beach spokesman Elliott Cohen.

It’s an ugly reminder of dreams that never came true.  
 
"It's a bit of an eyesore. It doesn't help property values here,” said neighbor Ashley Williams.

In 2005, the property was purchased for $14.5 million. Plans included four new condominium high rises. 9 years later the waterfront gem is in foreclosure and faces $1.5 million in city liens and has become home to the random, the wondering and the reckless.

"With this here it kind of gives me a concern about safety,” said Williams.

Now, the city is taking an interest and offering the property owners an incentive.

"We're saying look you owe us $1.5 million we will significantly knock that down if you agree to knock it down or do something with it either sell it or fix it," said Cohen.

It is not the first property that the city is getting involved in. An old nurse’s quarters on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard is about to see a new day thanks, in part, to the city's new incentive program.

"We don't want these eyesores… anything we can do to fix it, knock it down do something with it, we're looking at all options,” Cohen said.

Keeping the city pretty is one motivation. The other? Higher values equal higher tax rolls.

The property is in foreclosure. An independent representative is now working through the many money issues that exist with the stakeholders involved.

The bottom line: it needs to go through bankruptcy before a new owner can come in and accept the city's offer.

 


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