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City moves to seal windows at 'Pink Palace'


BRADENTON - The City Council moved Wednesday to do something about a downtown eyesore.

Riverpark Grande
Dubbed the 'Pink Palace' because of its exterior color, the Riverpark Grande is dilapidated and in foreclosure.

The Riverpark Grande, dubbed the "Pink Palace" and a former symbol of glitter and glamor in Bradenton, is like a flapper a few decades after the Roaring '20s have ended: dismal looking, and with its best days way behind it.

And not just on the outside. "The more open it is, the more it deteriorates on the inside," said Mayor Wayne Poston.

The building at 309 10th St. W. is in foreclosure with Regions Bank, and city compliance manager Volker Reiss told the council Wednesday that he hasn't been able to contact the owners.

The process would be through Section 38 of the city code of ordinances, which covers nuisances and the abatement of nuisances. "It's a legal process. We started it and solicited bids to board up the structure," he said.

Reiss said that he has been soliciting bids to seal up with plywood damaged window openings on the second through 12th floors, and also seal up with plywood the existing non-compromised openings on the north, west and south sides of the ground floor. The lowest bid of six he got was $12,700. The plywood would have to be of a certain strength and painted, he said.

"We stipulated that it has to be a HUD-approved board-up process," Reiss said. "It's a process that happens from the inside."

There have been two ground-level break-ins at the building in the past year, Reiss said, and he recommended approval of a measure to get started with the property owner because the city has to advertise the process. "Even though the ground-level windows are secure at this time, we want to make sure no one can get in," Reiss said.

Riverpark Grande
A broken window on the second floor of the Riverpark Grande. The city moved forward Wednesday in a process to board up the damaged windows on the second floor and higher.

Using a special assessment lien, the city will recover the money through the foreclosure process. He contacted the owner, Regions Bank and the bank's lawyer, and heard back from the bank and its lawyer.

"The reason why I'm here is I didn't want to go any further if you tell me, 'Don't do it, we don't want to spend the money or we don't have the money,'" he said. "I'm going to come back if you allow me to next month with a formal request."

The motion to move forward passed the council 5-0.

Other City Council work

Also Wednesday, the City Council approved a proclamation honoring G.D. Rogers for his work in the city of Bradenton and his efforts to improve the lives of its citizens.

In the consent agenda, the council approved the following:

  • Minutes of July 15, 2009.

  • Resolution 09-55 - Appointing James Miller to the Downtown Development Authority.

  • Resolution 09-56 - Appointing Frank Hammer to the Tree & Land Preservation Board.

  • Resolution 09-57 - CDBG Citizen Participation Plan Substantial Amendment.

  • Resolution 09-58 - SHIP Program's Local Housing Assistance Plan.

  • Public Event - Walk for Life, Saturday, Sept. 26.

  • Public Event - Jingle Bell Run/Walk, Friday, Dec. 11.

  • Public Records Retention Policy and memo.

  • Department of Corrections Work Squad #1 Contract Renewal.

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance regarding fees for false alarms, charging a fee for the police having to respond to a second false alarm instead of the fourth false alarm. The council voted 5-0 to approve a second reading on Sept. 9.

Also approved 5-0 and set for a second reading on Sept. 9 was the first reading of an ordinance to repeal the establishment of the Tidewater Preserve Community Development District.

The council approved two special use applications 5-0, both in Ward 5. The first was a request to allow tire installation at a property at 820 15th St. E. It was recommended for approval with 10 stipulations. The second was a request for a paint booth at an existing auto repair facility at 2801 Ninth St. W. It was recommended for approval with two stipulations.

Councilmembers also approved 5-0 an agreement with the county for the city to take over jurisdiction of Second Street East, also known as Waterfront Drive, starting at Riverside Drive and running north-northwest to the easterly boundary of First Street (U.S. 301 and 41).

And the council voted 3-2 to approve the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.


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