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    Stonecrest Apartments on Baseline Rd. deemed a threat to health

    7:00 PM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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    • Stonecrest Apartments on Baseline Rd. in Little Rock. (Photo: Google Maps)
        

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- About 30 Little Rock residents are now scrambling to look for a new place to live. This comes after a city judge ordered a Baseline Road apartment complex to shut down because of health and safety concerns.

    We know that those residents are getting some relocation help from the management company. The assistance is mainly referrals to other properties with vacancies, but they will have to apply for them. The move came as a surprise to one couple that we talked to. They said they lived without a shower and toilet for about a month.

    "Like the second or third of December," Kimberly Thompson said. She and her boyfriend moved into the Stonecrest apartments last year.

    "We were really happy. I know it's not much, but it was something to us," Thompson said.
    But since they moved here, life was not quite the place you'd call home.

    "We flushed the toilet, and the toilet water came up into the tub, and it stayed there for like almost a month," Thomas said.

    It wasn't until two days ago the bathroom got fixed, but now the couple has to find a new place to live.

    "Just got a recent shock the other morning. Got a notice on my door to vacate by the 25th," Howard Matthis said.

    Residents received a notice saying they had to be out by Jan. 25, following a judge's order to close the place. A statement from Little Rock City Hall cited multiple code violations at the complex and said the place is "in deplorable shape."

    "Plumbing and the heating have been the big issues," Property Manager Jeff Davis said.
    Davis came on board a year ago and said he's been working to fix those issues.

    "It's been tens of thousands of dollars that have been spent in the last year or so," Davis said.

    But he and his wife, who also manages the place, allege there's been trouble with bad tenants causing damage, some even living there and not paying rent. They said Thompson and her boyfriend aren't the trouble makers, and with a handshake THV 11 caught on camera, there's hope for a new home.

    "A much better outlook. At first it was kind of bleak, but now I've actually communicated to them, and they're willing to help," Howard Matthis said.

    There are some conflicting reports out there about when residents got notice of the complex closing. Those THV 11 talked to said it was just a few days ago, but management said it was the first week of January, and they gave both verbal and written notices. Either way, people still have to find a new place to live.

    The property managers also said they have no problem closing down for a while; they want use the time to re-evaluate the building and see if it's worth reopening later. They also said they've actually been to court already and talked this over with the judge.

    Here is the official statement from the City of Little Rock:

    Little Rock Environmental Court Mark Judge Leverett has found that the Stonecrest Apartment complex at 9700 Baseline Road is a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community. Judge Leverett has ordered that Stonecrest be vacated, boarded and secured, in its entirety, immediately. The order is attached.

    Stonecrest is owned by G&K Solutions, which is based in Central Arkansas. The owners of this company are Grant Exton and Jeff Davis - who are represented by Attorney Keith Vaughn out of Jacksonville.

    "This is part of an aggressive and ongoing process to hold rental property owners accountable," said City Manager Bruce Moore. "This apartment complex has multiple code violations and is in deplorable shape. We will continue to bring these kinds of cases to court in order to mandate the upkeep of property in the City."

    Code Officers with the Department of Neighborhoods and Housing will conduct the boarding and securing. Deputy City Attorney D. Clifford Sward will report back to Judge Leverett on January 23rd regarding the progress that has been made at Stonecrest. The City Attorney's Office has also filed a complaint in Circuit Court. That case does not have a hearing date set yet.

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