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Buyers tear down the old, build new and bigger homes

Lake Carroll attracts construction companies that have been doing in-fill development in South Tampa.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 11, 2002

CARROLLWOOD -- The tear-down trend is heading north.

Ho-hum homes in South Tampa have long been destined for demolition. But with land values in the area soaring, home buyers are hauling their wrecking balls to Carrollwood.

Some find waterfront homes on Lake Carroll for a good price.

"They buy these homes for up to $250,000 or $300,000 and build these huge houses," said Nancy Otten, an agent with Prudential Real Estate. "They're 5,000 square feet or more and they're where the ranch houses were."

"The lots that are available around Lake Carroll are a better value than a lot of the ones available in South Tampa," said Jim Reader, business development manager for Angell Construction. "You can get a waterfront lot in Carrollwood for pretty close to what you'll pay for a standard lot in South Tampa."

The average sale price of a home in Carrollwood is $186,000. In South Tampa, it's $300,000.

Most of the homes in original Carrollwood are ranch-style houses built in the 1960s. The plumbing and electrical systems are out-of-date, and today's home buyers want two stories and more square footage.

"But they love the neighborhood," Otten said. "You can't beat the neighborhood. It's centrally located, it's on a ski lake and there are bigger lots than in the newer subdivisions."

The neighborhood also has parks, tennis courts and a recreation building, and the lots are well-shaded with mature trees.

Angell Construction, which has been in business since 1980, has long done in-fill construction on odd lots in South Tampa. Earlier this year, the company made its first foray north. Angell is nearing completion of a home on Orange Grove Drive that replaced a 1960s concrete block ranch house.

The new, 2,500-square-foot house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a three-car garage. The pool was left intact.

A house on Lake Ellen Drive was torn down and subdivided into four lots. Two of those homes have been completed and two more are under construction, Otten said.

"Carrollwood is the next South Tampa from the standpoint of what they're doing," said J.T. Tershowksi, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker.

"They can't get the bang for the buck in South Tampa. So the bottom line is they're coming to Carrollwood."

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