Fate of troubled Tarpon Springs motel to be decided

By Tim Wronka, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 06, 2018, 5:36 AM EST

A Tarpon Springs motel with a history of problems is again the center of discusson between lawmakers and the community.

  • Sun Bay Motel site of drug arrests, fatal shooting in 2016
  • Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners exploring buying property
  • City in talks to buy motel for approximately $900,000

On Tuesday evening, the Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners will discuss buying the Sun Bay Motel, a property that’s been the site of drug trafficking, prostitution and even a fatal shooting in 2016.

Business owner Michael Kouskoutis, who owns property next door to the motel, told us he's seen things at the motel he doesn’t even want to repeat.

“This is a cancer. This is a cancer on our community,” Kouskoutis said.

He and several other neighboring residents and businesses feel the problems at the motel keep the area from growing.

“I know people that live in that area that don’t go out without being armed," Koukoutis said. "This is Tarpon Springs. That’s inexcusable.”

The city has been in talks with the owner to buy the property for about $900,000. City commissioners will vote Tuesday night on a proposal for the city take it over.

Should the sale go through, what comes next is the question. Neighbors hope the property is demolished and that something better can take its place.

“This is the heart of our downtown, most scenic and beautiful place in our community that families walk around," Kouskoutis said. "To have that type of activity there just shocks the conscience."

Kouskoutis and other residents and business leaders, as well as city leaders, plan to speak at Tuesday’s meeting in hopes something can get done. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Tarpon Springs City Hall.