Santa Rosa Hotel

With the Santa Rosa Hotel’s code violation fines totally much more than its value, the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency will ask the structure’s owner if he would gift the property to the CRA at no cost.

SEBRING — The Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency Board decided not to pursue the purchase of the Santa Rosa Hotel, but instead to ask the owner to give the structure and property to the CRA.

CRA Executive Director Kristie Vazquez said Board Chair David Leidel will be contacting owner Tony Collins to inform him that the CRA will accept the property for zero dollars.

The 1920s historic hotel has three separate code violations that have been accruing fines that total about $380,000, she said. Some of the violations have been occurring for quite some time.

“The roof is compromised, I believe it was from Hurricane Irma, but the roof does have a hole in it so it has been exposed to the elements for quite some time,” Vazquez said.

Vazquez said she toured the hotel with its owner a week ago. Also on the tour of the structure were Leidel, a second CRA board member who is a contractor, and the Sebring building official.

“So everybody is up to date on the building’s current condition, which is the deterioration is pretty evident,” she said.

Without having a structural engineer come in and do some geotechnical work to see more than a visual inspection, an exact condition cannot be determined, but Vazquez believes it is in a large state of deterioration.

It has been condemned for occupancy, but it has not been condemned for demolition, which would be up to the building official if it got to that point, she said.

The board approved a second motion at Monday’s meeting to recommend to the City Council to pursue the foreclosure process on the property liens as another incentive for Collins to resolve the issues if he decides not to gift the property to the CRA, she said.

The CRA Board gave Collins until the end of the year to decide whether or not he will give the property to the CRA.

The board would most likely not entertain the gifting of the property after that point in time because the level of deterioration in the property will only get worse. Vazquez said the CRA does not want to inherit something and have no choice but demolition.

The current owners of the SanRosa Holdings, LLC, Anthony Collins and David Lyons, purchased it in 2015 for $155,000.

Collins was the owner of the Nan-Ces-O-Wee Hotel, which fell into serious disrepair prompting a notice from the City of Sebring on July 21, 2020 stating that the structure needed to be repaired or demolished.

Colliins gave the building, at 139 N. Ridgewood Drive, to the CRA, which spent $186,165 on its demolition. The demo work started at the end of November 2020.

The CRA was awarded a $25,000 grant that covered some of the expenses in the Nan-Ces-O-Wee demolition.

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