By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Tymber Skan on the Lake Condominiums consists of dozens of townhouse structures constructed in the 1970s, organized into several different condo associations. The housing complex has been distressed for more than a decade. The HOAs have long been inactive, so there’s no money for even basic maintenance services.
For a while, investors moved in, claiming a desire to clean up the squalor and make repairs. However, with so many vacancies, squatters and crime have been a persistent problem. The few remaining residents recount many stories of drug activity and fatal gun fights.
A court appointed receiver was assigned to collect unpaid assessments, but to no avail. Former residents who could afford to move away from Tymber Skan could no longer be located. The remaining residents could not afford to pay for years of deferred maintenance.
For the past six years, Orange County has been providing frequent police and emergency services, relocation services for tenants, and demolition of dilapidated buildings, one by one. About a dozen buildings have been taken down so far, with another 8 scheduled for this year.
But roughly 30 buildings remain, in poor condition.
Millions of dollars in unpaid utility bills have resulted in Orange County shutting off the water to most of the units. Electricity and cable services have also been discontinued for all but a few remaining residents.
This week, another suspicious fire destroyed an abandoned 4-unit building. This is the third fire since April of this year.
You can see reports of two fires below:
Fully-involved blaze knocked down by firefighters at Tymber Skan condo complex
Updated: Jul 13, 2016 – 6:22 PM
Safety concerns arise after fire at Tymber Skan apartments
Multiple units on fire, fire officials say
By Dawn Brooks – Web – News Editor , Troy Campbell – Reporter
Posted: 9:23 PM, April 24, 2016
In April, Orange County official Victoria Siplin acknowledged that Tymber Skan sits on a “valuable location,” and says she hopes to see the land be redeveloped as green space.
But here we are in July, reporting yet another fire in an abandoned building. Despite repeated media reports incorrectly referring to Tymber Skan as “apartments,” there are still some condo owners living in Tymber Skan. Owners are reluctant to leave. Many cannot afford to move, and the condo they own – such as it is – is the only asset they have.
Take note that, despite the so-called value in its location, there are no real estate investors rushing in to “rescue” Tymber Skan’s few remaining residents to buy them out.
Tymber Skan is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Orange County must maintain some level of order at the troubled housing complex. So naturally, County residents and onlookers want to know why it’s taking so long to relocate the last few residents and simply put an end to Tymber Skan, once and for all.
Previous blogs about Tymber Skan condos, Orlando
Orange County officials dealing with Blossom Park, Tymber Skan Residents living in unsafe condos