Unlike local consenus, Volker Raabe doesn't consider 570 Edgewater Drive an eyesore. The attorney living in Germany just closed on the property and plans to continue long stalled construction at Dunedin's southern gateway.
City manager Rob DiSpirito said Iberia Bank official Chris Dorn notified him Wednesday that all monies had been exchanged and the house now belongs to Raabe, and that he intends to finish construction.
He said part of the reason for the prolonged process was the transatlantic nature of the sale.
Raabe's son reportedly lives in the region, DiSpirito said.
County records indicate husband and wife Volker Raabe and Brigette Raabe of Gelsenkirchin, Germany, own a condo on Paula Drive in Dunedin, purchased in 1993, and a 2,476-square-foot, single-family home on Whippoorwill Drive in Palm Harbor, purchased in 1995. Both properties are leased through Clearwater-based Roland Realty International, Inc, county records indicate.
The structure has been left vacant and partially-finished since construction stopped in 2006, neighbors say.
The building has been protested as an oversized overlooking St. Joseph Sound on the northern edge of the Edgewater Drive Scenic Corridor Overlay. Neighbors contend that the structure would only serve to degrade the character of the neighborhood if it is allowed to stand.
The 11,198-square-foot parcel is listed on AOL Real Estate for $999,900 with nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It is zoned for single family use, according to Greg Rice, city planning and development director.
The building's permit expired on Dec. 17, but the owners are to reinstate it under new and more stringent city codes that will place timelines on building projects.
Dunedin residents have repeatedly asked commissioners for stricter enforcement of the building’s expired permits and also to consider purchasing it for future use as a public park. City attorney Tom Trask has said that citing the owners for an invalid permit would be considered "selective enforcement" because the 2,000 infractions.
Jeff Ricketts of Clearwater purchased the property for $299,000 in 1999 from a couple in Boca Raton, according to county property records. North River Holdings, Inc., an extension of Iberia Bank in Bradenton, assumed ownership in lieu of foreclosure in July 2009, county records show.