NewsPolk County


A Lakeland Church is giving away a historic home for free — but there's a catch

Posted at 10:26 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 02:18:44-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — — A Lakeland church is giving away a historic home for free.

"We got so many calls and so many people wanting the house, we took the sign down," said Deacon John McShane.

South Florida Avenue Church of Christ posted a sign outside the home on South Florida Avenue a few weeks ago. The sign stated the house was free if the interested party paid to move it.

Deacon John McShane said the church no longer had a need for the home, but it is considered historic and demolishing it would be a challenge.

"Probably have to through the Historic Preservation Board because they have quite a bit of say on these old houses," said Deacon McShane.

The house was built in the 1920s. It is nearly 100 years old. ABC Action News got a look inside the two-story home that sits adjacent to the church.

Deacon McShane said at first a couple was interested in paying to move the house.

"We had one couple that really wanted to move it, but the final price of $333,000 to move it and rehab the house and make it liveable was alittle bit out of their reach," said Deacon McShane.

Deacon McShane said he's excited about the home's future. Gregory Fancelli, the grandson of Publix Super Markets founder George W. Jenkins, just agreed to restore the home keeping it on South Florida Avenue.

"He loves to restore old houses and he just wants to restore this one and bring it back to what it was," said Deacon McShane.

Deacon McShane said the home is filled with reminders of the past and has so much potential in the future.

"The hope is to have people living in it," said Deacon McShane.