Celebration apartment buildings condemned by the county

By Stephanie Bechara, Osceola County Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 10:11 PM EDT

An apartment building in Celebration was deemed unsafe — and now hundreds of tenants need to find a new place to live within the next 30 days.

  • 2 Solo at Celebration buildings condemned
  • Osceola County found structural deficiencies
  • Residents have to be out in 30 days

When you think of luxury you don’t think of deteriorating conditions, but this is what Stephen Kapusta, who’s a resident of Solo At Celebration, is having to deal with.

Kapusta took us inside of his home to show the structural problems involved with his apartment.

He pointed at his door frame and said, “This is about as soft as you can get. You can see right here this caves in.”

The building in Celebration is only about two years old, yet you can find deteriorating balconies, cracked concrete and sloping floors. Osceola County said that so far they have found deficiencies on two of the six buildings, which caused them to put up yellow signs condemning those two structures.

Kapusta said he doesn’t understand why everyone has to go.

“So it’s easier for them to collect an insurance policy on this,” Kapusta said. “But the only way they’ll probably be able to do that with the building inspector is if they say the whole place is uninhabitable.”

A spokesperson for Southstar Management sent us a statement, saying: “We understand this is a very stressful time for them and we are going to do everything we can to make the transition go as smoothly as it can.”

Southstar says it realized the issues a few months after acquiring the community last fall from the original developer -- Hines. A spokesperson with Hines said they have been working with staff on needed repairs since May.

But for Kapusta that’s not enough. He said there should be more advocacy for tenants in these types of situations.

“Yet we have owners like this. An apartment complex that they’re choosing to bury the bottom line and there is no repercussions,” Kapusta added. “Basically they can just walk away from this.”

Locals are coming together to try and help families move out of the complex. For more information on that, click here: www.HelpSola.com