Condo conversion could force out owners

Article and Video Courtesy of 


West Palm Beach

Reported by: Danielle Dubetz

Published July 12, 2008


"Frustrated just doesn't

do it, we're horrified, devastated."

BOCA RATON, FL --"I could not live in NY anymore, due to the threat of 24-hours on TV that we were going to be bombed again," said Bernard Seid.

 Watch VIDEO


He and his wife Sheila treasure the hard-hat they received for their volunteer work after 9-11.  But Bernard says he still deals with the flash-backs.

"It was about a year, year and a half after 9-11 that I started getting the panic attacks.  I couldn't get that smell of death out of my mind," he said.

He thought escaping to Boca Raton would be the answer.

"We saw this Eden and it was. The way they presented it was magical and we said this is the place for us," he said.

They say they moved in a year and a half later than scheduled, but when they finally did, their unit was everything they dreamed it would be.


"Walking into this apartment, we love it, walking out of this apartment, it's devastating," he said. 

The building is more than 75 percent vacant and outside, next to the fountains and flowers and palm trees that symbolize the Boca Raton dream, looms the areas well-known eye sores.

A guard watches the property, though he says no construction has happened for at least 3 months.  And as far as what was promised...

"With a pool, a club house with full amenities, 24 hour concierge.  We have none of that," said Sheila.

But they say it gets worse because the builder,  Ceebraid-Signal Corporation, is threatening to convert the condos to rental apartments. 

"Thereby having us move out or our property would be worth nothing," said Sheila, "Frustrated just doesn't do it, we're horrified, devastated."

"And there's no end in sight," said Bernard.

Boca Raton City Manager, George Brown, says the builder can turn the property into a rental if he wishes.  We tried to contact the builder to find out what this means for current owners, they said there was no one available to speak with us.

The city says they're frustrated with the situation.  On Tuesday the builder will try to get approval to build a leasing office.  

Construction on the condominiums started in 2002.  Since then they've received 3 building permit extensions.  Their new deadline is September 2009.  

The meeting is scheduled at City Hall on Tuesday at 6:30 pm.