Moldy mansion is worthless -
Published Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:46 pm
Moldy mansion is worthless

Finished in 1997, it was the finest mansion in all of Sarpy County.

Sitting on 35 acres at the corner of Nebraska Highways 370 and 6, the 14,384-square-foot home built by former NFL player Rod Kush was once valued at $2.6 million.

But Sarpy County Assessor Dan Pittman told the Sarpy County Board last month that the mansion is now worthless — that it has been zeroed out on the property tax rolls.

Only the land on which it sits will now be taxed, at a value of $539,916.

“At one time there was nothing like it in Sarpy County, with that big staircase like something out of ‘Gone with the Wind,’” Pittman said. “But it got to the point where there was standing water in the house and it wasn’t safe to enter it without a mask.”

The problem is mold, and that mold has put the home beyond hope, Pittman said.

The problem began with a leaky roof that was not repaired, he said.

“It would cost more to mitigate the mold damage than the house is worth.”

The home was built between 1996 and 1997 by Kush, an Omaha native who played safety for the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers. His NFL career lasted from 1980 to 1986. After retiring, he opened Rod Kush’s Furniture, a store that was well-known in the greater Omaha area but went out of business in 2007.

The house has changed hands several times, with Kush initially putting it on the market for $3.4 million in 2003.

Kush eventually sold it, for $1.6 million in December 2008 to FRK Development of the Elkhorn area.

A year later, FRK Development donated the property to Catholic Charities, which planned to open a 16-bed substance-abuse treatment center for youths. Financial difficulties and a change in priorities with the arrival of a new executive director ended those plans.

In October 2010, Catholic Charities sold the property to Larry D. Smith of the Elkhorn area for $612,000.

Donna Lynam, building inspector for the City of Gretna, said Smith has proposed nothing specific for the property but has mentioned the possibility of building multifamily structures there, or perhaps an assisted living facility.

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