The sound of breaking glass, cracking wood and bending metal could be heard for blocks, and for many Port Richey residents, it was music to the ears.
"This will move the junk. I'm happy for this job," said Suljo Beganocivc, over the roar of heavy equipment.
Construction crews moved into the old Port Richey Adult Mobile Home Park Wednesday with plans to level the place.
"This has been a mess for long time. We're just trying to help out and clean it up," the company's Joe Matisseck said.
The mobile home park has been an eye sore for years. City Manager Tom O'Niell call it "....a visual nightmare."
More than five years ago, the city hoped the mobile home park would become home to a new hotel and conference center. It's prime real estate, located on U.S. 19, just south of Ridge Road. The land is right across the street from a channel that leads to the Gulf of Mexico.
"I believe it's a beautiful piece of property. It's located in a prime condition, the entry way to the city's water-front district," O'Niell said.
But shortly after the hotel idea came up, the real estate bust swept Pasco County. The hotel was put on hold, people moved out of the park, and vandals moved in. Every piece of metal and aluminum was stripped from all of the more than three dozen trailers. The site became environmentally dangerous to the nearby Gulf.
Port Richey Police Chief Dave Brown said the area became a magnet for crime.
"We still have some of our transients, our homeless trying to still live in the trailers, which are not safe," Brown said.
A series of challenges to the demolition stalled the project, and the property went into foreclosure. Finally, the bank that now owns the property signed off on the demolition. Environmental clean-up could take up to two weeks, but by the end of this week, one of Port Richey's ugliest pieces of property will look a lot better.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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