Owners of now-razed historic Gandy dwelling in St. Petersburg sue business developing new home

The residence at 2700 Driftwood Street S in St. Petersburg has been the subject matter of community controversy before.

The 1.32-acre ton in the Driftwood neighborhood was when in which the historic Gandy property stood, a residence constructed in 1910 that belonged to the namesake of the Gandy Bridge, which new proprietors demolished it in 2018 more than the protests of neighbors.

Now, these owners have introduced a lawsuit from the dwelling-developing company in cost with developing a new residence there, stating it is develop into an “unmitigated disaster.”

Timothy and Janna Ranney say Tampa-based mostly Windstar Properties breached a agreement with them and violated Florida’s building code, between other allegations, and are in search of damages of extra than $30,000. The enterprise claimed the accusations are “without advantage.”

Associated: Historic Gandy household is razed

In the criticism submitted late last month, the Ranneys accuse Windstar of “a typical bait and swap income technique” in which the organization promised to structure and develop them a luxurious household that hasn’t been shipped. Instead, Windstar has billed the Ranneys more than $700,000 in “change get fees” for options that they chosen but experienced to be transformed mainly because they have been “either no lengthier accessible, have been significantly more high priced (or) were heading to be made of a less expensive high-quality,” they allege in the grievance.

Furthermore, the Ranneys say that building staff have frequented the job site on their off time to fish from their dock on Massive Bayou and host “small events and gatherings.” Even though they’ve previously paid for the roof, its design has been on hold for more than 10 months, according to the grievance, exposing the dwelling to the components, together with the rainfall of Hurricane Eta past 12 months.

The style and design expert on the undertaking quit following design started and now it is becoming managed by a 22-yr-old “former intern with quite tiny style experience and even significantly less qualifications,” the Ranneys say in the courtroom files.

In an emailed statement, Windstar Residences claimed the organization was “surprised and unhappy the Ranneys have picked to file this criticism.”

“As a builder of one particular-of-a-sort premier luxurious homes in Tampa Bay for 25 several years, we have a confirmed file of conference our clients’ most exacting requirements,” it said. “The statements built in this fit are without benefit and we will vigorously protect our operate on this challenge and our standing. We delight ourselves on both of those the households and the associations we construct.”

The former dwelling on the internet site, which was also known as the Mullet Farm, was constructed by shipbuilder Barney Williams, son of St. Petersburg’s co-founder, Gen. John Constantine Williams. It was later obtained by George “Gidge” Gandy, Jr., who worked with his father and brother to build the Gandy Bridge.

It then went to his daughter, Helen O’Brien, who died in 2015, resulting in the property currently being put up for sale. The Ranneys procured it in 2017 for $1.73 million, but finished up razing it.

The previous residence was “too dilapidated and termite ridden to be renovated and restored,” they reported in the lawsuit.

Immediately after it was ruined, neighbors led an exertion to have the spot specified as historic to preserve other outdated houses in the future. In March 2019, Town Council granted historic district position, while that was rescinded a year later after various residents fought the designation in court docket and a choose identified the town unsuccessful to observe proper technique.