City orders crumbling Davis Islands mansion torn down - WFLA News Channel 8

City orders crumbling Davis Islands mansion torn down

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The crumbling mansion on Severn Avenue The crumbling mansion on Severn Avenue

At one time, the home at 545 Severn Ave. on Davis Islands was a showplace. It was also notable because the stately mansion was a one bedroom home.

There are mansions near the home that are valued at well over $1 million, but at one time, 545 Severn was unique, even among some of the most valuable properties in the city.

Norman Bond was the original owner of the home and by his own admission he made a fortune early in life. Bond says he liked to throw parties and having just one bedroom at the time was an advantage for him.

Related story: Original owner of crumbling Davis Islands mansion says it's too late

Bill Newman lives next door to the home and has been friends with Bond for many years.

"If you have more than one bedroom and have a party, people just pass out in your rooms and end up staying," said Bond.

Like others who live on Davis Islands, Newman remembers the parties. Newman says the home was once listed in Playboy Magazine as one of the "top bachelor pads" in the nation.

Since then the home has fallen into disrepair. Neighbors say there are rats in the home, raccoons and even opossums have been seen coming in and out of open doors. There home has also been vandalized, graffiti is on the walls, holes have been knocked into interior walls.

Javier Lescano lives nearby and says, "Overall it's been horrid conditions. It's been horrid for all of us, it's been horrid for the neighborhood."

City of Tampa Code Enforcement officers said the home was in such a condition of deterioration that it would cost nearly 700 percent of its assessed value to make repairs and bring it up to acceptable standards. The city ordered the homeowner to demolish the building or face fines. Neighbors say it's been in a condition of disrepair for more than five years.

Related story: Original owner of crumbling Davis Islands mansion says it's too late

Wednesday an attorney for the homeowner asked for more time for the homeowner to asses the condition. A special magistrate hearing the case denied the request and ordered the building to be torn down.

Javier Lescano says, "We're very happy, we're thrilled to death, some of the neighbors are gathering around. We're going to have a little champagne party when they bring in the wrecking ball."

Lescano and others say the home has been an eyesore for years the order for demolition will finally end a blight and eyesore on the neighborhood

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