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City finds dangerous violations at troubled St. Pete apartment complex

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — An apartment complex that reportedly wasn’t paying its water bill faces new troubles. 8 On Your Side Investigates has learned city code inspectors are now working two dozen cases at the complex.

The Citrus Grove Apartments are located 731 15th Street in St. Petersburg.

The city conducted 20 interior inspections of units last week.

James Corbett, director of codes compliance assistance, says inspectors found violations at the complex including:

·       No hot water in several units

·       Holes in interior walls

·       Missing/torn window screens

·       No working smoke detectors

·       Rodents

·       Exterior door disrepair

·       Electric outlets not functioning property

·       Plumbing disrepair

·       Interior door disrepair

·       Refrigerators not functioning properly

·       Stoves not functioning properly

·       Ceiling disrepair

·       Missing electric cover plates

·       Heat not function properly

Despite that, residents tell 8 On Your Side Investigates the complex has stepped up its efforts and they’re seeing results.

“People are getting the new refrigerators that they needed, the water heaters are being fixed,” said Tirara Taylor.

“It’s good now, ever since you all showed up.”  

Neighbors contacted 8 On Your Side Investigates after finding an alarming notice in their apartment complex last week.

The City of St. Petersburg termination notice stated the water will be shut off unless the complex forks over thousands of dollars.  

David Gates of Weller Workforce Housing is the property manager of the complex.  He told 8 On Your Side Investigates the water bill was sent to the wrong address. Gates also stated they’d only been in charge for 11 days. 

“Weller Workforce began managing Citrus Grove Apartments on December 1, 2019.  The property was between managers and we were not aware that the bill had not been processed. Upon investigation, this was due to a billing address error where the bill was sent to the incorrect address. As soon as this issue was brought to our attention this morning, we responded and the matter has been addressed. No residents at the property will be without water service for any amount of time. To my knowledge, the property has not bounced a check to the water company.”

The old management company was recently acquired by Weller Workforce; however, Gates had been overseeing the complex for months.  That’s according to Robert Coats, the President of Citrus Grove Apartments LLC.

Gates says the complex has a new point person on site.  They are also working on hiring new maintenance workers.

8 On Your Side Investigates will continue to follow this story.


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