It Is a Mystery (Legal/Real Estate Brains Please Help)

This is driving me crazy. In my neighborhood I’ve discovered a rather large (about a block) piece of real property that is walled off. Let’s be clear about this: it is entirely walled off. The wall is a cement barrier about eight feet high topped with barbed wire. The wall was expensive to build and meant to last. And there is no gate. On all four sides, not one gate or door that I can see. If you want in there, it’s ladder time. If I had to guess I’d say the wall is anywhere from 30 to 70 years old, based on the crumbling that has begun in certain places.

There are no signs on the outside of any kind. The trees inside the wall are clearly untended.

Google sat suggests it to be totally unimproved, but I can definitely see what looks to be some sheds, old cars and maybe some boats in there. So someone used it at some point, and then later, the owner decided to wall it off with a gateless barrier meant to outlast a human lifetime.

Why on earth would someone do this to perfectly good land? I’m honestly stumped. If it was a trust managed property, chainlink would be good enough. Same for the state or federal governments.

Any ideas? Anyone ever seen anything like this?

Zombie apocalypse safe house.

Any climbable trees near the wall? What are the prospects for using a ladder for a view inside?

Have you tried maps.live.com? Select Locations, put in the address, and try Birds-Eye View.

The last time I read about something like that, it was a book about Victorian England. The lord walled off the estate after building the place for his bride, that died from child birth. Counterfeiters tunneled from the neighboring house to the derelict house. They had a escape route using an old tree over the wall. the police had to use ladders. Do you think this may be the case with your mystery lot? Then again maybe the owner jet packs in for visits.

If you’re really interested, you might go down and look up the owner of the property.

Here in Minneapolis, we can just pull that up online, see the owner, mailing address, property tax amount, etc.

Oooh, that is totally mysterious!! Is it in a residential neighborhood? What properties are adjacent to it? Houses, office buildings, what?

Can you give us the link to it on Google Maps? It would also be really cool to see some photos of this wall. This is really strange and I’m so curious! Can you look up the property/tax records? I’m pretty sure that most places, property records can be examined by the public.

Perhaps there’s an entrance through a tunnel or something.

Nope. The wall is built up to very edge of the property with maybe 2 feet left over. There is no outside foliage of any kind, which now that I think about suggests that someone is tending that 2 feet of leftover grass. Maybe the city does it. A ladder could work but the density of the foliage inside will limit my ability to see very far into the property. Plus I don’t want to put myself in that position because I know me, and once I get a ladder up on that wall I’m going over it, and I can’t see a way out unless I throw another ladder over the wall first. That’s a problem, that and the trespassing charge. Plus visibility is very high, I will be seen unless I do it at night, and doing it at night spooks me a bit.

There’s no address to look up in deeds or tax records, just a wall. At some point I may go to the main library and crack open the plat records to see who bought it initially.

Residential, yes. The property occupies about 40% of a rectangular block, smack in the middle. It is bordered on the north and south sides by streets. On the east, an nearly identical in shape plot has a Catholic church and school. On the west, one row of houses is between the wall and the western street. I’ve already called the Church rectory office and asked, they just said they don’t know who owns the walled property and it’s private property.

How do I do that? When I click “Link to this page” in the upper right hand corner, I get 2 links neither of which seem to work when put into a browser. I’m basically a caveman.

I’m in South Florida. We’re at sea level, and if you dig down a foot you’ll get water. Tunnels are very difficult to construct here, it would have to be a pro job from the ground up, basically a tube sealed in concrete. It’s possible but not too likely. Good idea though, where no entrance is obvious a non-obvious entrance should exist, you’re right.

It makes sense that you are in South Florida. Those types of things are nuclear launch facilities that are remnants of the early Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis. The obscure, urbanish environment is excellent camouflage especially when you throw in some random junk as a cover. Most people never question the existence of such facilities at all even when they live next to them. I would give a high caution however that many such facilities are still operational and very much Top Secret and highly guarded even though you can’t see it.

You will probably read stories about druggies and homeless people going missing from time to time in your area. A lot of those are because they happened to get themselves on the wrong side of the wall. Not good from a health and safety standpoint. It is fine to wonder about these things but use extreme discretion when you inquire about it. They know that a determined person would head to the local library to learn more about the facility. How do you know the dorky looking librarian isn’t a plant other than looking for a bulge about waist-level? You can’t. You can’t trust anyone in those surroundings and that is a scary way to live.

There is probably some hideous monster walled in there. What is the address of the building ‘next door’ or across the street?
eta Maybe it’s where Dick Cheney will retire?

Find the addresses of two properties above and below the address. Goggle “Florida (your county) tax search” for a range using the two properties. Some information will show up.

If I can get Google Earth link you’ll see what the problem is. This is a relatively huge piece of land that doesn’t have any adjacent properties that can be used for reference, since all the adjacent properties border other streets. The best thing I can figure is to go to the next blocks over on each side, get the addresses from there, and start plugging in all possible numbers between them until I get a match. Actually that’s not a bad idea, I’ll do that after lunch.

Could you contact your local law enforcement? My bet is that they know something about it (don’t they really have to?). Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to actually get them to tell you what they know, but it might be a good place to start.

Health hazard? Anthrax?

Not to be a doubting Thomas, but are you 100% certain that there is no door anywhere?

Regardless, I find your description intriguing.

I’m never 100% certain of anything, but there is nothing to suggest an entrance on either the north and south roads. The church section is fairly visible and shows no deviation in structure. I haven’t actually walked the west side since it would be a little weird tramping through various backyards but again here you can see that whole section of the wall in its entirety. It would have to be a deliberately concealed gate, and the structure of the wall makes this difficult. The wall is built like horinzontal blinds. Each approximately five foot wall section is a stack of about 6 poured concrete slabs, angled downwards, held in place by concrete posts on either side. To make a gate that looked exactly like every other section of wall would be possible if difficult, but the lack of any sort of driveway on the adjoining roads and no other way of getting in except through the church property or through someone’s house makes it seem unlikely. As bizarre as it sounds I really don’t see anyway to get in there except over the top.

I really don’t think it’s government. There’s plenty of unbuilt government land in the area because of a nearby airport. That land is all chainlinked up, and cheaply too, the chainlink is coming apart in some places. Side story: we have a tribe of runaway chimpanzees that have escaped from the airport shipping over the years. They live inside the fencing. True story. Government likes to slap a bunch of warning signs on their fencing as well.

Anyway, this is a serious wall with no signs at all. Just white cement and barbed wire.

Photos? Or go to maps.google.com, track it down and paste the address bar here.

Go to a real estate company in the area and tell them you are interested in the property and want some information on it. If Florida real estate companies are anything like New Jersey’s, they should have access to information on every property in their marketing area.

If there’s no improvements on the property, that will be easy to track down via tax maps, as they break down the land and the improvement assessments.

ETA: If it’s a short block, just track down the tax maps of every property on the street, and look for the one with the least improvement value.