Summertree Apartments still a blight on downtown

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By Juanice Gray

jgray@natchitochestimes.com

The former Summertree Apartments remain a blight on the otherwise beautiful downtown area. One year ago, the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC), said the $4.5 million renovation project would house the homeless and homeless veterans. The project, to be renamed Hopeville Apartments, was under development by VOB Development.

The project received a $3.7 million tax credit and stated occupancy will be persons at or below 60 percent median income. Additional funding totaling $425,000 was to come from Alden Torch Financial based in Colorado.

La. Housing communications officer Natasha L. Joseph-Anderson said the applicant was VOB, owned by Verlyn Foley and based in Alpharetta, Ga. Expert Maintenance and Construction Services of Prairieville was contractor/builder. The project began in October 2016 and was slated for completion of phase one in three-four months, or by mid-summer. 2017.

Shortly after summer began in 2017, renovations came to a screeching halt and the property has fallen further into disrepair. Mayor Lee Posey said this week he had gone through the proper process to ensure the paperwork is in order to ensure that whatever the outcome, everything must come through the City.

“We are going through all the proper legal channels,” he said. “We have started the ball rolling and will keep working through the process.”

Posey said the City did some clean up within thier limitations and has had the property added to the tax rolls. Resolution of the process could take as little as a few months to a year.