Troubled South Cobb apartments sold to new owner
By Meris Lutz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A trio of troubled apartment complexes in South Cobb is under new ownership after the former landlord racked up dozens of violations for failing to maintain the properties.
Lexington Partners, LLC, a Connecticut-based real estate company, purchased Parkview Apartments, Kingsley Village and Hunters Grove for $36.5 million last month. The apartments are located on Riverside Parkway near Six Flags.
Earlier this year, when the apartments were owned by Trinity Parkview, LLC, residents went public with complaints about rats, mold, leaks, missing or broken smoke alarms, and poor management.
Cobb County ended up citing the landlord for 84 violations, and the story helped broaden support for new renter protections that were signed into law shortly thereafter.
In the midst of heightened scrutiny from the media and the county, the owners asked Greystone Brown Real Estate Advisors to help them sell, according to Greystone’s director of investment sales, Taylor Brown. Trinity Parkview spent about $1.5 million on the properties to satisfy the county and get the citations dropped, he added.
But despite the apartments’ notoriety and the millions more that will be required to make them profitable, bidding was competitive, Brown said.
“It’s still Cobb County, which traditionally has better schools, lower taxes, lower water rates,” he said.
Brown also said he saw the county’s investments in the area, which has a lower income than much of Cobb, starting to pay off. His company has recently sold six out of seven apartment complexes within a quarter-mile stretch of Riverside Parkway.
Those county investments included buying and demolishing Magnolia Crossing, another apartment complex that faced similar issues as the three formerly owned by Trinity Parkview, as well as improved landscaping around the highway exits, new medians, security cameras and fresh paving.
“There was a lot to like about what’s happening in the area,” said Brown, “You’re going to see all the apartments cleaned up. I think you’ll see a lot of changes.”
Donna Collins, the senior regional manager for Lexington, said the company has already begun renovations and plans to spend $3.5 million on capital improvements in the next year.
“Some of the stories that we’re hearing from the residents have been unthinkable, what they’ve had to go through,” she said. “It’s been actually a lot of hard work, but it’s starting to really look good here on the property.”
Collins estimated about 15 residents have taken advantage of a “fresh start” program whereby Lexington helps them pay down back-rent. For now, she said, rents remain in the $750 to $1,100 range. The company will assess potential increases after completing the bulk of the improvements.
Kingsley Village resident Garnell Hodge said she’s hopeful things will get better after the new management said they would fix the swimming pool, which has been closed for years.
Still, she wasn’t sure the improvements will be more than cosmetic.
“They always worked on the outside,” Hodge said. “The inside, I don’t know about that.”
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