St. Pete Beach commissioners voted May 27 to spend $9,000 to demolish a Pass-a-Grille home rotting by the seaside. The city already has $19,000 in liens on the home at 107 28th Avenue; an attorney for Gisela Garcia-Leyva asked the city to spend another $9,000 to demolish the home.
Vice Mayor Melinda Pletcher, who represents Pass-a-Grille, said she didn’t agree with spending city money to demolish a private home, but ultimately agreed to spend the money to help remove a decaying property and, as the attorney promised, make the property attractive to sell and improve the neighborhood.
The board agreed to do so as long as the property was not designated an historical property by the Historic Preservation Board.
Garcia Leyva owns four buildings in Pinellas County; aside from the beachfront home on Pass-a-Grille, she owns a single-family home in St. Petersburg, a multi-family dwelling in North Redington Beach, and a commercial building in St. Petersburg. According to her attorney, she is attempting to declare bankruptcy and needs help demolishing the building so she can sell the property for the outstanding $1.7 million loan.
The commission voted 3-2, with District Two Commissioner Rick Falkenstein and Mayor Maria Lowe voting against.