TAMPA, Fla. - The historic homes in Hyde Park have a lot in common, like grand porches and large windows. Many are century-old designs.
The house at 722 S. Fielding Avenue is no different, but it also comes with a little extra.
"There are weeds growing all over the place," explained Hyde Park Preservation Government Liaison Rudy Fernandez. "The roof is falling off."
Fernandez can see his neighborhood from his office window. Up there, it looks great, but for the last three years, after he leaves work and goes home, he returns to Hyde Park where the house on Fielding Avenue remains a consistent eyesore.
"The place is just dilapidated and falling apart," he said.
The five-bedroom, two-bathroom house built in 1913 is about 3,000 square feet and values at almost $400,000.
Hyde Park is known for its refurbished historic homes, some of which now value a $ 1 million.
That's what neighbors thought would happen at 722 S. Fielding Avenue, but the say, for 6 years, one of the only changes is the weeds growing inside building material lying out front.
The roof and walls have holes, only some of which are boarded up. A large blue tarp covers part of the side. Weeds are a couple feet high.
No one's lived there, except the occasional insect or vermin, even though Mr. and Mrs. Wax secured building permits to begin construction in 2007.
"Unless they do something, it's going to continue to get worse," explained Tampa Planning & Development Director Tom Snelling.
Snelling's department recently cited the owners, Jill and Herbert Wax, for demolition by neglect. Code enforcement also placarded it as unfit for human habitation.
Officials claim the move took years to make because the owners had active building permits.
"They were inspecting, and because your permit was active, you were allowed to continue with the construction site," Snelling said.
"They never actually walked away, so to speak."
Just a block from Bayshore Boulevard, one of Tampa's most exclusive addresses, neighbors are surprised it took this long to grab the city's attention.
"It's a bull's eye for debris and litter and any kind of bad elements that can come into a neighborhood," Fernandez said. "You don't want houses like this in any neighborhood."
Mr. and Mrs. Wax could not be reached for comment. They have until December to show improvement to a magistrate judge. Otherwise, the city may tear down the home before it falls down on its own.
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