Lonely Condo Owner Adds to Related Group's Headaches

The hits keep coming for Miami real estate giant The Related Group. First, the lenders on its extravagant, 420-unit CityPlace South Tower condo in downtown West Palm Beach took control of the project in a "friendly foreclosure." This is a polite way of saying that Related couldn't pay its mortgage on the project because most of the buyers refused to close on their units. And it wasn't exactly shocking news. When New Times visited the building in May, we found a bored valet waiting to help invisible residents.

Now Related is back in the headlines because of another failed condo project in downtown Fort Myers. New Jersey firefighter Victor Vangelakos and his family are the only people living in the 32-story Oasis tower. They've been spooked by intruders knocking on their door late at night and throwing chairs into the complex's pool, according to a report in the Fort Myers News-Press.

This isn't the lifestyle Vangelakos had in mind when he paid $430,000 for what was supposed to be a vacation home. Now he wants Related to buy him out. And the company is left to argue, hilariously, that living alone in a deserted condo building isn't that bad.

"We have not discontinued the service or done anything that would make life uncomfortable for them," Betsy McCoy, a VP for Related, told Fox 4 in Fort Myers.

Indeed, ghost towers are all the rage in New Depression condo living. To read more about some of South Florida's local gems, check out New Times' feature, "Postcards from the Bust."

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