The city-owned Dearborn Towers is up for sale. The most recent appraisal valued the complex at $2.8 million.
By J. PATRICK PEPPER
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Dearborn city officials recently announced that the city’s Florida apartment complex is officially on the market.
The city is seeking a buyer for the eight-story, 88-unit building after meeting conditions set in 2007 when Dearborn voters gave their approval for the sale of the property.
Mounting financial challenges, led by a receding tax base, prompted city officials to put the matter on the ballot. Part of the proposal was that the city had to obtain three independent appraisals, a process that now is complete, clearing way for the sale.
The most recent appraisal valued the towers at $2.8 million, based on the current revenue structure, but estimated that it could fetch more than twice that if rental rates were raised to market rate — which officials say is likely what would happen in the event of a sale, according to a previous Times-Herald report.
Selling the property in the saturated Clearwater market would take six to 18 months, according to the appraisal.
The city’s listed contact person for the property, Corporation Counsel Debra Walling, was not available for comment Friday. But Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said in a previous interview that he would be looking for about $7 million for the blue stucco building.
The property is located on a 2-acre site near Clearwater Beach, which a city press release said is consistently named one of the best beaches in the country. Amenities include a private fishing dock, marina and pool.
The opportunity for Dearborn retirees to affordably live in Florida for some or part of the year made Dearborn Towers immensely popular in the 1960s through the 1990s, and added to Dearborn’s reputation of providing one-of-a-kind services for its residents, city officials said.
But as times changed, so did Dearborn residents’ ideas about retirement and the traditionally long waiting list to rent an apartment in Dearborn Towers disappeared, according to officials.
And, now, even though the apartment building essentially is self-supporting, city resources need to be prioritized in a different way.
Residents of Dearborn Towers have leases that can be terminated with 30 days notice. Residents who may need accommodations following a sale are invited back to live in available units in the city’s five senior apartments in Dearborn.