A Florida family’s high-rise hell

I’ve let this one age a bit longer than I’d have liked, but better late than never. If it wasn’t actually in the news, I’d swear this was the plot of a horror movie.

CBS News reports on the family of Victor Vangelakos, who moved from New Jersey in the middle of a housing boom in the Fort Myers, Florida, area. Due to a variety of reasons, the Vangelakos family found themselves in a very uncomfortable and eerie situation: they are the sole occupants of Oasis Tower One, a 32-story high-rise condominium tower with over 200 units.

Quoting the article:

On subsequent visits, however, the building grew more deserted.

The lights on the pool and palm trees were off. Their garbage shoot was sealed, a trash bin placed in front of their unit instead.

Despite the empty units, they faithfully parked in their assigned spot on the second story of the parking garage. Then those lights went off, too.

Then there were security concerns. One night, someone pounded on their door at 11 p.m. They called the front desk at the next door building, which contacted police. A search turned up no one, though a pool entrance was open.

This article struck a particular chord with me; my dream home is a high-rise condominium (specifically, I’m leaning towards the Hermann Park area, but keeping others in mind as well). I’m often a bit of a loner by nature. But this situation would probably drive me to insanity, and I can only imagine the kind of mental and emotional strain this family has to endure.

Or maybe not, as it appears from the rest of the story the family has apparently turned down an offer to move into the other tower, because they would still be paying the mortgage and maintenance costs on their purchased unit.

I’d certainly take them up on the offer, figuring a buyout was inevitable. But, this family isn’t me.

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