14 October 2011

Eyesore may soon be demolished:

Panama City Beach - It was once a staple and an icon along Grand Lagoon but now it's considered an eyesore by many. A fire in April of 2010 closed the Treasure Ship Restaurant. And more than a year ago, the property's owner announced it would be torn down, but the three story structure still stands in the marina with pieces of burned wood hanging off its sides.

Now the county is taking steps to force the issue. Lisa Todd the owner of the Treasure Ship signed a demolition permit on June 2nd. The permit has since expired, and now the county is threatening to tear down the building as early as the end of next week.

For 33 years the Treasure Ship Restaurant attracted thousands of locals and tourists. Then in April of 2010 a fire ripped through the landmark building destroying the structure and causing hundreds to lose their jobs.

"I miss it you could see it from everywhere off shore," said David Bright, Bay County resident.

But, the last 18 months have turned the once iconic building into an eyesore.

"It breaks my heart its a shame its a landmark in Panama City and has been for all the life I remember," Michael Grubs.

"It kind of an eyesore now, but other than that I miss it around here," said Bright.

If property owner Lisa Todd does not submit a new permit to the county by October 14th, the county has warned her it will have the property demolished and charge her for the work.

"The county does have the ability to take the building down and lien the property, but we really don't want to go that route its quicker, easier, and less expensive for the property owner to do it themselves," said Dan Shaw, Assistant County Manager.

Treasure Ship Restaurant destroyed by fire

Todd wouldn't comment on when the building would be taken down, referring questions to her Jacksonville lawyer who didn't return our calls.

Todd said the situation was complicated and that the permit could be renewed. But she wouldn't put a timeline on when action could be expected. In the meantime, the damaged structure sits on the edge of a parking lot, a reminder of the way things used to be.

"I much rather see them fix it back the way it was," said Grubs.

County officials say it's an unsafe building and needs to come down as soon as possible at least before next years hurricane season.

Source: WJHG.com. By Amber Southard. 6 October 2011

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