Downtown Zebulon eyesore has new owner

amoody@newsobserver.comJune 3, 2014 

This photo, taken in October, 2013, shows where a roof once existed and a portion of the inside of the 116 N. Arendell Ave. property, from back to front.

TOWN OF ZEBULON

— A downtown property that has been the center of a nuisance and safety violation saga for several years has seen a change in ownership.

On April 24 Marsh sold the property to Dayana Christal Nunez Coyt at a sale price of $3,000, according to Wake County real estate records. The total assessed value of the property is $14,589 according to the real estate records.

The 960-square-foot property at 116 N. Arendell Ave. was deemed unsafe by Wake County building inspectors in 2010. From that time until February of this year, Zebulon officials struggled to get former property owner Wilhelm Marsh to follow through with repairs on the property.

Issues with the property include boarded-up doors windows, loose brickwork, debris and trash accumulation inside, freestanding walls with no roof, and as a result, stagnant water and the potential for health issues.

Marsh’s spotty contact with town staff prompted the town to pursue condemnation on the property in February, giving Marsh no more than 90 days to correct the violations or have the town take over that authority. That would have put a deadline on Marsh of mid-May.

Town officials say with the change in ownership comes a fresh clock on the 90-day window to make the required improvements.

“Unfortunately, you would have to start the process over, however, that’s why we want to verify with the current property owner what their intentions are with the property,” Planning Director Mark Hetrick said.

At the time, Hetrick said he had recently spoken with several prospective buyers who appeared to have contacted Marsh about the property. He said most had intentions of fixing up the building and using it, but that he was not sure if Coyt was one of the prospective buyers he had spoken with.

Hetrick said he would put together a letter to send to Coyt to see what intentions she has and to let her know where things stood regarding the condemnation process. Those intentions remain unclear at this time. Coyt could not be reached for comment for this report.

If the 90-day deadline is not met, the town would gain the ability to make the needed improvements and bill the property owner for the work. The property owner would still retain ownership of the property.

If the clock started on the date the property changed hands, the new deadline to bring the building into compliance would be sometime in mid-to-late July.

Moody: 919-829-4806; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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