Wednesday, April 16, 2014

City Conducts Public Hearing on former "Eiland Plaza" Property

A public hearing on the property located at 200 Beale Street in Louisville was held prior to the Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday evening. The property, an apartment complex formerly known by most as Eiland Plaza was classified as an "unclean property" by City officials. The hearing gave citizens, tenants and the owner, the opportunity to express opinions, air complaints and state any plans for improvement of the property.

Code Enforcement Officer Jody Fulton indicated that he had recently inspected 12 apartments at the complex and found that all were out of code compliance - often for multiple issues including electrical service and plumbing issues. Fulton did indicate that one building that had represented a major code problem had been recently razed but the debris had yet to be removed.

The owner, M& M Investments, LLC recently hired a local manager and indicated that attempts at improvement were underway including removal of the razed structure as soon as weather allowed. The company also indicated that some structures are being vacated and boarded up until they can be repaired.

In addition to a manager, the company has added a security officer in the last month and evicted 12 tenants from the property but indicated that tenant behavior was an ongoing problem. The property manager stated that tenants are not respecting the property. Drug activity, theft and continual damage to the apartments are common.

M&M indicated that most tenants were not paying rent. "We give them a good apartment but they don't pay rent, knock holes in the walls, break windows and tear stuff up. There will be 2-3 people on a lease but we later find 10-15 people living in an apartment.

One tenant addressed the Board in the hearing,  stating "Part of this is the tenant's fault but not all tenants. We live here because it's the lowest rent we can afford. Everybody who has bought this (apts)- they say what they're gonna do (to clean up) but then they go do something else."

Noting that this was the worst property in the City, Mayor Hill said, I know there have been several owners here and that has been a problem but we want to get this ship righted."

After discussion, the Board agreed to continue the hearing until May 6 to allow the property owner and the Board the opportunity to review the code violation documentation and monitor any further progress.