Fort Lauderdale

Home Damaged During Hurricane Wilma Still an Eyesore in Pricey Broward Neighborhood

The 6,600 square foot home worth $1.3 million took a major hit when Wilma struck South Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

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When Carol O'Brien walks out to the seawall behind her condo building on the Intracoastal just north of Sunrise, what she sees is a massive home that looks abandoned. 

“It’s is a beautiful neighborhood, and love it here, but that is a terrible eyesore,” she said.

O’Brien is one of those living in one of South Florida’s top-flight communities who say their property values are taking a hit due to a home in disrepair that’s unbelievably been like this since Hurricane Wilma.

“It’s been that way since 2005, which is stunning that it was allowed to go on," O'Brien said. "I mean, 16 years. It’s incredible."

The 6,600 square foot home worth $1.3 million took a major hit when Wilma struck South Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

“I think about a year or year and a half ago they repaired the roof on this, and other than that, it sat there," O'Brien said.

O'Brien has been leading the charge to get it fixed. She says anyone’s patience would run thin after this long.

"We’ll we’ve contacted the mayor, the city manager, the commissioner," she said.

NBC 6 reached out to the City of Fort Lauderdale, who said it is following the letter of the law and the building code when it comes to what’s going on with this property.

The NBC 6 Investigators examined the last two years of code citations where Fort Lauderdale cited the property owners. There were 16 citations in all — the owners ended up complying except once. The most serious violations were that the construction site was not maintained — an abandoned property — and an unsafe structure. That citation remains open, and earlier this year, triggered a hearing before a judge who gave the owners 63 days to comply or the city will move to fix or will demolish the property.

"In February of this year, there was a magistrate hearing that gave them 60 days to put in windows,” O’Brien said.

NBC 6's search to find the owners took us from Fort Lauderdale to Indianapolis, Indiana, where the company that bought it in 2017 is located.

Its attorney Grover Davis sent a statement saying: "It is SLB Acquisitions' intent to rehabilitate the property. They understand the neighbors' frustration, and it is the company’s desire to have this property renovated as soon as possible. SLB Acquisitions had entered into a contract with another contractor who abandoned the project after having received substantial payments from SLB Acquisitions. That matter is now in litigation. SLB Acquisitions has entered into a contract with a new contractor who will be proceeding with the renovation. The company has contracted to spend more than $900,000 in renovation costs. The funding for the renovation is not dependent on the outcome of the litigation against the former contractor.”

For residents, that cannot come soon enough.

“I want them to repair it, knock it down, take care of it. I mean something needs to be done to make it not an eyesore,” O’Brien said.

The city and the commissioner of the district did not want to speak to NBC 6 about the situation.

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