Davis Islands mansion, turned eyesore is slated for demolition - WFLA News Channel 8

Davis Islands mansion, turned eyesore is slated for demolition

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The mansion on Severn Avenue, Davis Islands The mansion on Severn Avenue, Davis Islands
View of the mansion entering Severn Avenue, Davis Islands View of the mansion entering Severn Avenue, Davis Islands

Tampa's Davis Islands boasts some of the nicest homes in the city. Many homes are valued well over $1 million. It's a place where Derek Jeter built a home larger than some hotels.

At one time the home at 545 Severn Ave. was among the showplace addresses.

Bill Newman has lived on Davis Islands his entire life. Newman says the home on Severn Avenue was once listed by Playboy Magazine as one of the top bachelor pads in the nation.

Newman can remember an indoor pool and a tennis court outback.

Newman says, "When I first saw it built, it was spectacular."

The home is no longer a jewel in the neighborhood, upon closer inspection, it's more like haunted mansion. It is vacant, crumbling, and vines are growing into the home through the window openings.

Newman says, "I saw a huge piece of the concrete outside of the home fall off."

Other neighbors say there are rats in the home, and if you get close enough, you can smell mold. The yard is overgrown, windows are missing and there are holes visible in the walls of the home on the inside.

Leland Dicus lives next door to the home and says it's not pleasant. Dicus says, "It's very dangerous, you know it's a public nuisance and I really hope that the code board does the right thing and knocks it down."

Newman says teens have been using the home as a hangout and are doing drugs inside.

"I'm worried someone will get hurt," Newman said.

Monday Tampa Code Enforcement officers showed up as a crew worked to board up the door and windows of the home. As the workers tried to put up a sheet of plywood, they were attacked by bees flying from the inside of the walls.

Neighbors want the home torn down. Tampa's Code Enforcement office issued an order for the demolition of the home, but the owners are fighting the order.

A hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday at Tampa City Hall on the future of the home.

WFLA.com learned Monday afternoon that the Perez family had been granted a 14 day extension and the hearing is now rescheduled for November 6th at 9am, 3rd floor of Old City Hall in Tampa, according to code enforcement officials.

The Davis Islands Civic Association is asking neighbors to show up at 9am, 3rd floor of Old City Hall to attend the hearing November 6th and voice their concerns and complaints.

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