The Osceola County Building Commission has been noticing code and dangerous building violations for 660 Celebration Avenue for-and I am not making this up-YEARS. In a LOOOONG report our engineers noted a “danger of imminent collapse” which sounds scary to ME yet does not appear to be of any particular concern to LEXIN, whose Top-Notch team installed court ordered shoring as a STOP-GAP measure.
We ALL know just what a MAGICAL town this is, yet do not always fully appreciate just how strong that magic IS, as Lexin-Powered-Warm-Air is currently holding up the balconies. Lexin ASSURED the County this is “safe”.
WHO does not love to fix up their place. Today this Town Center owner embarked on just such a merry adventure. It turns out that SOMETIMES a new coat of paint is just not going to help. Sometimes drywall just refuses to be REPAIRED, preferring to disintegrate. And NOW you are in trouble, because NOW what you are looking at does not BELONG to you, THIS part belongs to LEXIN.
It is truly a most spectacular morning here in Celebration, and there is a great deal to be thankful for-The courts are closed, the attorneys all off duty AND there is NO rain in the forecast, allowing Town Center residents to relax and work on capturing one of the neighborhood turkeys instead of focusing on re-arranging plastic sheets over their bedding.
And I have begun my holiday decorations, this year using a “Shabby Chic” theme as I am repurposing some of Lexin’s disintegrated roof tarps-pieces of which have been deposited all over Town Center thanks to Time, the Florida Sun and Prevailing Breezes.
This is the THIRD set of tarps by the way. Lexin must REALLY care about us, can you imagine paying for them THREE times? It must have used up the funds for the missing spire over the Market Street Cafe (in the background) scheduled to be replaced on 7/1/2016.
Residents and visitors alike often assume that just because you can’t SEE a problem, it isn’t REAL. Lexin does not seem eager for us to get a GOOD look at just how our “structural elements” are aging. The TRUTH is, not too well. This was a support column in 611 Campus Street. The termite have moved on, they ate everything they could.
It has come to my attention that there exists (VERY understandably) some MASS confusion, coincidental with a smaller, but significant amount of MASS HYSTERIA as residents struggle to tell the difference between Celebration’s TWO Foundations.
As a dualist I believe I can make the identification process easier than getting a letter from CROA about your mailbox. Personal Opinion is heavily in use here, so please resist being offended, and should you be offended-to paraphrase Harrison Ford in “Air Force One”-Get off my plane.
Town Center Foundation= Bad
The Celebration Foundation= Good
The chasm between the two organizations is wider than Kim Kardashians stunning butt, a chasm SO wide that it would take DAYS to cross on a mule, and by the time you reach your destination-very much like the unfortunate Tassel-eared Kaibab squirrels- evolutionarily marooned on the NORTH RIM of the Grand Canyon-you will no longer recognize your South Rim Kaibab cousins (SHOULD you actually survive the trip.)
And SPEAKING of evolution, 20 years into our shared Project Named Celebration, several of our Cornerstones have not so much “evolved” as “devolved”, and bring to mind Michael Keaton in “Multiplicity”, having been replicated far too many times, corrupting their images, their structural integrity compromised beyond recognition.
This has NEVER been true about The Celebration Foundation which has grown continuously and organically, an organization which never stops expanding the scope of its idealistic visions, representing the high-minded thinking which drew me, and most everybody, to Celebration in the first place.
Promoting the principles of New Urbanism , placing world class music within walking distance, feeding those who need to be fed, educating those who deserve to be educated, making it possible for ALL of us to see ourselves in the best possible way, as the kind of people who like-and help-our neighbors. I think it’s called community.
Under the extraordinary leadership of Gloria Niec The Celebration Foundation excels at identifying community needs and making meaningful efforts to eliminate them.
And as I am not getting any YOUNGER the Foundation’s Thriving in Place program holds the fascination of a super-shiny silver dollar lying in front of my feet, a promise that Celebration is a great place to be born, and to live until, well, you just AREN’T living anymore.
This is in PERFECT OPPOSITION to everything the Town Center Foundation Represents. Rather than “THRIVING IN PLACE” TCF operates on the principle of RUNNING IN PLACE.
To those who fixate on the Malthusian decay of Town Center it is clear that NOTHING is ever truly repaired. The months of shuffling building materials around 709 Bloom Street exemplify the worst kind of construction, a HUNDRED CODE VIOLATIONS, ongoing water intrusion, cheesy finishing, still rotted wood hidden behind a layer of stucco, windows that will not open, and the end is NOT near.
Town Center Foundation= Bad
On the DARK side of the moon, the unfortunately named “Town Center Foundation” is a Not-For-Profit Corporation created, controlled and master-minded by Lexin Capital/Metin Negrin. (Mr. Negrin would tell you that Lexin Capital does NOT control the Foundation, however Lexin Capital Officers have had 100% of the majority voting power for 100% of its 12 Year history of incorporation.
Ostensibly the Town Center Condominium Association unit owners are ALL CLASS A members of the Town Center Foundation (which sounds impressive, the letter “A” resonating with being the best and all) yet the CLASS A members SOLE participation in any Town Center Foundation fiesta is to watch Captain Queeg roll those little balls around in his palms while counting out scoops of representational sand/strawberries. Metin/Queeg appears nervous even though he KNOWS he has ALL of the votes in the boardroom TIMES THREE.And why shouldn’t he? After all, HE wrote the documents
In The DCCRO The Town Center Foundation is charged with maintaining pretty much every square inch of Town Center.
6.5 Maintenance of Shared Facilities. The Foundation will be responsible for the Maintenance of the Shared Facilities.
6.6 Maintenance of the Component Facilities. The Foundation will be responsible for the Maintenance of the Component Facilities, including Component Building exteriors.
6.7 Requirements. All Maintenance will be performed in a good workmanlike manner, by employees or agents of the Owners or the Foundation, as applicable, or by licensed contractors which carry public liability insurance and employer liability insurance in amounts usual and customary for the work undertaken and such worker’s compensation insurance as required by law:
Just re-reading these sections makes me feel a bit light-headed. I am happy that the GOOD Foundation will be around to help me avoid what without them would surely be a trip to the Home For The Bewildered.
During our years-long dysfunctional relationship with Lexin Capital the owners in Town Center have, of necessity, developed a Codified Rules of Survival. Most often called upon is Rule Number 8, Never Cry Over Something That Can’t Cry Over You.
The antics of Lexin Capital and the Machiavellian Town Center Foundation burble around in my head endlessly ,as we seek to unravel their super-puzzling approach to the Care and Management of Celebration Town Center. Depending on the days events our observations, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, bounce back and forth between a firm conviction that Metin Negrin has a mind of Madoffian Brilliance and yet, MAYBE The Town Center Foundation should be simply misted with nutrients and water twice a week. It is like an ENDLESS game of Candyland, without the structural soundness of the ORIGINAL gameboard but WITH all of the sudden recurring catastrophes which gave Candyland its essential infinite loopy ENDLESSNESS, firmly establishing its reputation-along with Chutes and Ladders-as one of the MOST to-be-avoided games ever. Don’t I wish our little game of “TownCenter Land” could be put on the top shelf, far out of reach of the children in charge, SO in need of Adult Supervision.
All this talk of “LANDS” steers me back to the creator of lands, The Walt Disney Company, for our purposes ALSO known as The Celebration Company. Because, much as we love to consider Lexin The Source of our continued affliction, I came here, bought here and stayed here because of The Walt Disney Company.
And The Branding of The Walt Disney Company is arguably THE most successful advertising and emotional manipulation campaign since the naming of “Greenland “. I was so addicted to the emotional promise of Disney World that at the tearful end of every bank-busting trip, the FIRST thing I would do-after wedging myself into the middle seat of a crowded flight-was to plot the accumulation of enough cash to return. Given that mindset, I had no more free will than The Manchurian Candidate, a lifetime of Cubby and Karen and that damn sparkling castle having rearranged my synapses.And I am NOT special, there are millions of us who have funded Disney’s rise to power. EMOTION is the basis of the Brand, and The Walt Disney Company knows full well that when Mickey has a four-fingered grip on our hearts and minds, our money will follow.
Where it becomes abusive is when marketing fails to distinguish between delivering a magical week in a Themed Suite-which Disney does every day every year in a FLAWLESS fashion-and using the same methodology to deliver a HOME in a COMMUNITY OF THEIR DESIGN. This requires FAR greater thought and care and responsibility as it is more a MARRIAGE than a “date”. Because we were presented with a CONTRACT here in Celebration, and the Pre-Nuptial agreement was very, very, detailed. Potential residents paid attorneys to review these legal commitments, which of course could not be altered in ANY way no matter what, and then settled back as they found assurance in the fact that THEIR contract was created by The Walt Disney Company, a Corporation (and a carefully crafted brand) which in MANY minds implies a greater warranty and sense of security than the full faith of the United States government. I mean I have Disney Dollars which are worth more today than when I bought them, more than I can say about US Currency.
Back to Lexin Capital, definitely NOT the Walt Disney Company. But the Chain of Custody over the care and maintenance of our property was, in MASSIVE documents, legally attached to the transfer of Celebration Town Center. So while WE had no idea who Lexin Capital was (most of us with ALL our might wish that were STILL the case) The Walt Disney Company provided assurance to us that ALL would continue as before. In their contract that is defined as until the death of the last surviving descendent of Queen Elizabeth II, the present Queen of England. Really.
Up next, Deceptive Advertising.
Here is a LEARNING opportunity.