It appears that the Old Union Depot Hotel Building (aka Punisher House) was yet another victim of owner neglect and the economy, or owner neglect due to the economy, a Tampa Tribune post indicates. The article notes that "The hotel's owners, Tampa Union Station LLC, had amassed about $362,000 in code enforcement fines, levied since 2009, at $1,000 a day." And a recent aerial survey by the city showed that a major roof collapse had taken place. And as we have seen too often here in Tampa (see Gary School) this eventually leads to total collapse. After plans for a large condominium project failed to materialize during the downfall the property fell into foreclosure. So with the consent of the current owners, the city came in on Sunday, May 23rd and demolished the building. The city will put a lien on the property for $17,000 in demolition costs.
The city has recently set up new incentives to help owners make necessary repairs on historic buildings, in the wake of the Gary School tragedy. The property that officials and the public are watching most closely is the Kress building on Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa, it is already showing signs of roof stress. But will this mean anything in today's economic climate where many properties sit in foreclosure?