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New Owner Wants City to Drop Foreclosure, Waive Fines on Seminole Hotel

Officials Say "Ship Sailed," Not Waiving $265,000 in Fines


Last updated 9/17/2020 at 5:08pm

Henry Kebabjian wants to redevelop the historic Seminole Hotel in downtown Lake Wales, but his timing may be a little off.

Kebabjian bought the three-story hotel Aug. 19 at a bargain-basement price of $10,500, two months after the city's Code Enforcement Board voted to foreclose on the property. The city in 2017 declared the building unsafe, emptied it of tenants and condemned it for multiple code violations.

Recent owner Cardiff Howell of Orlando was unable to submit an acceptable renovation plan, and attempts by local developer Ray Brown to purchase the property fell through in June.


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Reader Comments(2)

gator63 writes:

Learn from your past mistakes. Make the guy put up a bond for the $265K and reduce the bond as certain progress deadlines are met.

gator63 writes:

The liens served a purpose, they forced the owner to sell. It would seem to me that waiving them would be beneficial to all concerned; however, I think the city needs to tie any waivers to actual progress.


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