A 92-unit apartment complex with a history of code enforcement violations, including the collapse of a stairwell, has sold for $6.5 million.
Just over five years ago, a $2 million deal had been cut related to what has been known as the Sunrise Towers on the 2800 block of Central Avenue in Fort Myers.
The four-story building, built four decades ago, has drawn at least 70 complaints in the past dozen years including infestations, mold and a ceiling that fell.
A stairwell collapse in 2018 prompted the city of Fort Myers to jump into action, leading to inspections that found other unsafe areas and concerns that more failures could occur. The city then required what was known as a fire watch, the assignment of an official to be stationed to monitor an area while repairs were being made.
That year, the complex also had at least a pair of shootings including one that led to the death of a thrift store driver who was assisting a resident there.
Months later, some residents were offered vouchers by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Fort Myers Housing Authority to assist in finding other places to live. Since then, various updates have been attempted to improve the structure including roof and air conditioning work and some building remodeling and repairs last year, public records show.
We’ve reached out to Coral Springs-based Watersong Realty Series LLC, which had owned the property and whose representatives have largely declined comment in the past.
The new owners are The Meridian at 2825 LLC managed by Ft. Myers Portfolio LLC under the leadership of Seema Gruman, according to one of my favorite data buffs, Paige Rausch of Aslan Realty Advisors.
“It was a long painful journey to get here,” Rausch said, hoping that improvements are made.
Gruman is chief financial officer for New Jersey-based Terra Financial Services, which assists real estate operators and investors. We have followed up with the company and also with city officials to see what the future holds and plan to come back to this topic in future coverage.
Based at the Naples Daily News, Columnist Phil Fernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes In the Know as part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Support Democracy and subscribe to a newspaper.