NEW PORT RICHEY — City Council members have appealed a demolition order for the property at 6523 US Highway 19, formerly known as La Casa Inn.
The property is situated on 2.17 acres of land and the site comprises approximately 58,900 square feet of commercial buildings comprising an office and two two-story buildings comprising a total of 120 hotel rooms.
An amendment to the appeal motion was at the request of a board member to revise the cost estimate for repairs to not exceed a maximum of 50 percent of current market value, as required by FEMA. . Hiren Patel of AARA Hotels, LLC, the owner of the property, appealed the demolition based on his assertion that the structure can be rebuilt, repaired or restored.
“It’s a very unique situation because it’s in the floodplain,” City Manager Debbie Manns said, “because there’s a question of substantial improvement.”
Patel appealed the demolition order on June 18, 2021. Marquis Contracting submitted a list of proposed works for the westernmost building on the property to Spring Engineering.
According to Manns, the appraised value dictates how much the plaintiff can spend on repairs and not exceed the number of substantial improvements to the work to be done without razing the building. A worksheet provided by the applicant demonstrates their ability to complete the job based on the market value determination provided by the appraiser.
The city recommended council members, acting in a quasi-judicial process, stay the appeal for six months, giving the plaintiff time to complete the work, obtain the permits and complete the improvements. The board’s vote to appeal was 4-1.