5 months after fire, residents frustrated by no repair work at Clearwater condo

Article Courtesy of  Channel 8 News

By Victoria Price

Published January 25, 2019

CLEARWATER - A Clearwater condo complex damaged by fire last summer may soon cut through the red tape that has prevented repairs.

It's been five months since fire gutted part of a building at Imperial Cove. The fire damaged or destroyed nearly a dozen units and since then, many neighbors have lived without heat or air.

Some have been displaced entirely.

Despite what some condo owners call an "emergency" situation, no repair work has been done.

Residents call it frustrating but don't really know who is at fault.

"It's just wrong, that's all," said Peter Dunn, who lives in one of the units that lost its heating and air because of the fire.

"This is an emergency situation, people should have seen that."


Dunn can't understand why it's taking so long for building permits to be issued while some residents have nowhere to live but are still subjected to paying association dues and other fees each month.

Some have even decided not to come back, he said.

Imperial Cove is a 55+ community and Dunn explained some of the older residents are on a fixed income.

Condo association treasurer Ray Henney had hoped repair work would be well underway by now. He even wrote to the city in November asking how they could expedite the process. He never heard back.

Instead, he says the city and the contractor have gone back and forth with revisions for months.

"I don't know who to blame," Henney said. "I don't think it's just one person."

8 On Your Side reached out to the City of Clearwater who said its hands were tied as it waits for information from the contractor.

Ultimately, after 8 On Your Side reached out to both, the city and the contractor agreed Tuesday they would meet to sort out the permit's final hurdle.

"I believe your involvement here today has stimulated some positive activity," Henney said.

The contractor told Henney he plans to meet with a representative from the city Wednesday to iron out the final revisions delaying the permits.

Henney says once the permits are issued, they're hopeful the repair work will take six to eight weeks.