LAKELAND | There are many examples of residents who bought homes and property at the wrong time before the real estate crash several years ago.
And then there is the $8.4 million purchase in 2005 of 14 acres by the city of Lakeland.
The city bought 53 parcels in the neighborhood that backs up to the In-Town Bypass behind the Lakeland Police Station on Massachusetts Avenue. It was paid for through the sale of bonds.
Dilapidated homes were torn down, and residents were forced to move from the neighborhood. There were plans for 400 townhouses and condominiums in the $300,000 range in the city’s newly expanded Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency.
The new development was to bring more people downtown, a longtime goal for city officials. And the plan was that the new buildings would generate additional tax revenue that could be used to pay for downtown improvements.
Instead, the housing market crashed.