Makeover sought for vacant downtown Tarpon building

TARPON SPRINGS - A vacant building in the heart of downtown is in desperate need of renovation and city officials have increased their efforts to see such fixes get in motion.

The vacant building at 119 E. Tarpon Ave. is adjacent to The Zone Lounge and the city has issued its owner a number of code enforcement violations since an inspection in early January.

Earlier this month Development Services Director Joseph DiPasqua told city commissioners little headway had been made over the past six months in terms of rectifying the building's code violations.

But following Code Enforcement Board hearing last week, the city now appears to be making progress with the building's owner, attorney Manuel Lindiakos.

Lindiakos said during the July 11 meeting he is working with an architect and will submit plans to bring the building into compliance with city codes.

Along with overall structural integrity concerns cited by DiPasqua, the building's roof, exterior walls, windows and door frames, and interior surfaces area all in poor condition.

The building suffered additional damage, notably to its roof, in 2012. A homemade explosive known local as a "Greek bomb" was detonated on top of the building during the Eastern Orthodox Easter observance.

That explosion also blew out windows and cause damage to The Zone Lounge.

Lindiakos said once he submits the plan and the city approves it high priorities will include repairing the roof, completely renovating the front exterior and installing a new air conditioning system.

Commissioner Jeff Larsen, who asked for the update on the building, said he would like for more frequent progress reports from staff on efforts to bring the building into compliance.

"I asked for it to be placed on the agenda because I'm extremely concerned with the status of that building," he said. "If we could continue to get updates I think that would be useful so that hopefully we can find a way to rectify this situation."
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