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Lagoon…how soon? South Hillsborough homeowners seek explanation for long-delayed amenity

8 On Your Side

WIMAUMA, Fla. (WFLA) — With the promise of a resort-style lagoon of crystal clear water steps from your home, it’s clear to see why moving to Southshore Bay appealed to homebuyers like Patrick McCrae.

“I would say that 99 percent of people who live here moved here for the lagoon,” McCrae said.

But more than two years after McCrae moved to the Wimauma subdivision, the closest thing they have to their lagoon is a billboard boasting “lagoon soon.”

“The community is definitely frustrated,” McCrae explained. “We keep getting new timelines.”

Homeowners tell 8 On Your Side they were initially promised the five acre man-made lagoon, the first-of-its-kind in Hillsborough County, by summer 2019. That timeline soon became winter 2019, then summer 2020, they say.

According to the developer, Metro Development Group, the lagoon is now targeted for completion in 2021. Frustrated with the delays and claiming to not get straightforward answers from the developer, McCrae and his neighbors reached out to 8 On Your Side to do a little digging.

County records show the lagoon’s building permit was issued July 2018, the same month McCrae moved in. Those same records show revisions to the project pushing things back, however, and Metro didn’t break ground on the project until nearly a year later.

8 On Your Side also found two of Metro’s contractors sued for breach of contract, claiming the developer did not pay for work performed. One of the lawsuits alleges the contractor was forced to ditch the project over “delays and factors that were beyond” its control.

However, neither lawsuit outlines what those delays were or why.

“Ther was a point after we moved in where we went nearly 12 months without seeing a tractor,” McCrae said.

8 On Your Side took the homeowners’ questions and concerns to Metro Development Group. A spokesperson tells us that issues with a previous contractor created “significant delays.”

When asked about the lawsuits, the company said it could not comment on pending litigation.

A new contractor has been appointed to the project and is aiming for a Spring 2021 completion. McCrae says resumed construction does give homeowners at least a little hope their paradise lost will eventually be found.

If not…they might just find somewhere else to go.

“There’s been a good number of people who moved in and then in turn, put their houses on the market and left,” McCrae said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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