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Date of Issue: August 09, 2007

Prospective GSR-buyer traded again

NBA player and one-time potential Island resident Theo Ratliff made a $175,000 deposit for a house in GSR’s Villa Rosa project in Anna Maria in April 2004. At the time, Ratliff played for the Atlanta Hawks and probably figured on spending holidays and the off-season on the Island, Atlanta being just a one-hour plane ride to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Alas, how times have changed.

Since putting up his deposit, Ratliff has been traded to the Portland Trailblazers, then the Boston Celtics. Last week, Ratliff moved farther away from Anna Maria as he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

His $2.5 million house was built as Villa Rosa’s model home and is almost ready for occupancy. According to the contractor, all that’s needed is another $500,000 to finish up and obtain a certificate of occupancy from the city.

But legal battles involving GSR and its bankruptcy, along with ownership of the model home, prevented Ratliff from completing a purchase. Now, he’s apparently lost interest, if not his deposit, although he has filed a notice with the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court that any future buyer may owe him his deposit.

The house is currently up for sale at $2.3 million in an “as is” condition, meaning that any potential owner would have to fix all the problem areas to obtain the certificate of occupancy. While Ratliff could likely afford another half a million dollars - he’s under contract for $8 million per year for the next four years - he doesn’t appear interested in living the good life on the Island at Villa Rosa.

Neither does anyone else.

The house has been for sale since March.