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One year later ‘Zika' house still stands after mayor vowed to tear it down

Neighbors want property demolished
Posted at 10:31 PM, Aug 18, 2017

For nearly 5 years the home at 2306 Elcoe Drive in Tampa has sat vacant. On Aug. 22, 2016 Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn stood in front of the home to the delight of residents announcing the home would be demolished in six months.

A year later, and Rebecca Sexton-Larson says her patience is running out.

“Even the mayor got out and said we are going to make something happen we are going to take care of this,” Sexton-Larson said. “It was a great day we were really excited."

A year later her excitement has turned to frustration.

The pool was filled in months after the mayor’s announcement. But, residents say other than that the property continues to deteriorate in front of their eyes.

The owner of the property Brent Bowden told ABC Action News that heavy rains caused a lot of unexpected problems with the pool. He said he hired a contractor to renovate the entire property and is just waiting for the permits from the city. 

“I want to have faith but it's kind of like riding this wave,” Sexton-Larson said. “You get very excited and then 6 weeks later you are crashing down again. "I think it needs to be torn down because renovations just going to be more permits more of this more of that and it's just going to keep going on it could take them years to renovate this

When Buckhorn stood in front of an abandoned property holding bug spray, and mosquito larva killer, he had the best of intentions to protect Tampa. But, residents said a year later they are tired of waiting.

“Just do something, because now it's such a hazard on so many levels,” Sexton-Larson said. 

City officials said all of the paperwork has been filed and the city’s Building Bureau is reviewing it.