County Commission votes to demolish Marsh Island mansion

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The County Commission today passed a motion to proceed with demolition of a half-finished Marsh Island mansion that has been abandoned for the past two years.

The decision was spurred in part by an offer from the Marsh Island Homeowners Association to split the cost of demolition 50-50 with county, paying up to $15,000 toward removal of the eyesore.

In recommending that the commission approve the demolition, Deputy County Attorney Bill DeBraal said the HOA offer was welcome because the county would be unlikely to recoup its costs through a lien against the property.

“There is a $3 million mortgage and a number of construction liens that would be standing in front of the county’s claim,” he said.

County staff estimated that the demolition, removal of debris, filling in a swimming pool excavation and other work would cost approximately $20,000, with the county and the HOA each paying half.

Commissioner Joseph E. Flescher asked if there was any possibility of saving the house, or if there had been any interest from anyone in acquiring and repairing it.

DeBraal said there had been no interest and that the roof, floors and interior walls of the concrete block structure are partially rotted, making it a poor candidate for renovation. He added that the owner, Paul Shoquist, had not responded to a county notification of intent to demolish the house.

Shoquist paid $1.75 million for the quarter-acre lot at 9250 E. Marsh island Drive in 2007, the year that construction commenced.

Work on the house, which is visible from the Wabasso Beach Bridge, stopped in 2009.

No date for demolition was set.

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