Iconic Cocoa Beach building under scrutiny from city

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:44:28 AM EST   Updated On: Sep 19 2013 09:27:04 PM EDT

The dilapidated Glass Bank is “a vertical slum” that deters business activity, depresses property values and drives off tourists, City Attorney Skip Fowler contends.


The Glass Bank was once a happening spot in the middle of downtown Cocoa Beach, but it now lacks the same appeal and city leaders say it's time to move on.

Built in 1961, the retro-spacey throwback has changed faces over the years, but for nearly a decade, it's been vacant and badly damaged by hurricanes and strong storms.

"It's just a shame that we've let this go on for as long as we have had," said Mayor of Cocoa Beach, Dave Netterstrom. "We've been very patient for the owners to try and do something, they're not. It's time to get a little more aggressive and make something happen."

That's why at Thursday's city council meeting, commissioners will decide whether or not to file a nuisance lawsuit against the Glass Bank Condominium Association.

Cocoa Beach City Attorney Skip Fowler said that if the city wins in court, the judge could order the association to fix the damages, and if they don't, the city will demolish the landmark.

"What we are aiming for is a complete fix, no more band-aids," said Fowler.

The condo association's attorney, Scott Widerman, said that he's tried to repair the Glass Bank through the years, but the building's co-owner, Frank Wolfe, who also lived in the top-floor pent house up until 6 months ago, has refused to help out and won't return his calls.

"He needs to take care of his unit," Widerman said. "If he would just take care of his unit and the roof in which his unit sits on, the lower building would be taken care of."

The owners of the Glass Bank have been riddled with fines throughout the years. The Cocoa Beach Code Enforcement Board has charged the association $200 a day since 2009, and they currently owe the city over $200,000.


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