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Downtown Former Auto Repair Shop Property Getting Remediation System

A remediation system is being installed on a downtown Orlando property at the corner of Robinson Street and Orange Avenue at 1 E Robinson Street (MAP) according to Denise Cochran with Orange County.

The remediation system is being installed to address a petroleum discharge that occurred on the property in the late 1980s. The property was deemed a petroleum cleanup site by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

A remediation trailer will be placed on the site and will remain in place for at least a year until the property meets state standards again. The trailer collects data from underground detection equipment called wells which measure contamination Cochran told The Daily City.

The property contains a 1954 former auto repair shop building. The remainder of it is completely covered in concrete.

As part of the remediation installation process, several long slices were made seep into the concrete along the two street-facing sides of the property. Large chunks of concrete were removed. The concrete will go back on back soon according to Orange County.

The County is tasked by the State with making sure the clean up occurs, but ultimately, the clean up job is the duty of the property owner normally.

However, in this case, the State is taking responsibility.

The current property owner, Deno Panayes Dikeou, a lawyer and a member of The Florida Bar, is considered an “innocent victim” by the State. He and John A. Baldwin purchased this site in 1977 for $130,000 from Gulf Oil. He was not notified of the contamination nor is responsible for leaking tanks that were taken out of service prior to 1985.

While it’s true that the owner of a contaminated property is normally held responsible, under these circumstances, the State technically takes responsibility.

Nothing is stopping Dikeou from selling the property during the cleanup. "The property owners at various stages of the clean up can sell the property," Cochran told The Daily City. "They can negotiate with buyers to assume the liability (of the cleanup)."

Dikeou is the owner of several properties across Orlando including the 37-acre Towers At Waterford shopping center (across the street from Waterford Lakes Town Center) at 638 N Alafaya Trail (MAP), the 0.39 acre parking lot behind Craft & Common coffee shop at 314 N Magnolia Avenue (MAP), and the Fashion Square Mall-adjacent shopping center containing Sea Thai restaurant called Dikeou Strip Center at 3808 E Colonial Drive (MAP).

The property sits across the street from the construction site of an 11-story mixed use multifamily development currently called Orange and Robinson Apartments at 336 N. Orange Avenue (MAP). Two blocks down is the massive Society Orlando apartment project which broke ground this month at 434 N. Orange Ave (MAP).

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