TAMPA, Fla. -- One of the 15 apartment complexes owned by Newport Property Ventures - a company founded by the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez - is plagued by rats, roaches, and rotting wood, according to residents.
Newport Riverside, located near the Hillsborough River off of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., has numerous possible code violations, from fire hazards to rotting staircases. Residents say courtyard lights have gone months without fixing, while holes in walls and windows often do the same.
Other problems include mold, poor drainage, and shaky balconies.
Residents have been complaining about Rodriguez' Newport properties for years, including in a 2007 New York Times article:
"A-Rod is the face on their leaky faucets, and yet his name isn't in the welcome kit. Rodriguez's brother-in-law, Constantine Scurtis, is the company manager - the one whose signature is on nearly $50 million in mortgages for properties in Tampa, according to records - but some of the cashiers and cooks who live at places like Newport Riverside know who holds their house keys."
At $27.5 million, Rodriguez' salary is the highest in Major League Baseball. He signed a $252 million, 10-year deal prior to the 2001 season then inked an extension prior to the 2008 season worth a reported $275 million over 10 years.
Other complaints from residents at Newport Riverside include what they said were unfair tows from the parking lot Monday night. Tow trucks removed a number of residents' vehicles because they backed into their spots, violating a little-known and non-posted policy of only parking "front in."
Residents had to pay upwards of $175 a piece to retrieve their vehicles; money they say will come out of their families' Christmas allowance.
Property managers referred 10 News to their coporate offices for all other inquiries, but multiple calls Wednesday went unreturned.
But a call to the City of Tampa prompted immediate visits from the Fire Marshall, who addressed an improperly-locked driveway gate at the back of the complex, as well as code enforcement. A report from code enforcement was not available Wednesday evening.
Fire Rescue about a locked rear gate got quick action; the department immediately checked on the hazard, working with local management to gain access in case of emergency.