MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The owner of Kimball Cabana Apartments said he is out of money, and a new investor plans to buy the property after the apartments undergo foreclosure.
FOX13 met the owner in Shelby County Environmental Court, after exposing deplorable conditions at the apartments on Kimball Avenue Tuesday.
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Residents had been without water since Thursday. It was turned back on as of Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Larry Potter had choice words for the apartment owner, calling the 2015 purchase of the property a “bad business decision.”
“I don’t want to see that mess out there any longer,” Potter said, pointing to a picture of an industrial-sized dumpster on the property that is over-flowing with garbage. “I’m tired of people living in filth.”
Neighbors told FOX13 they pay rent, but the landlord doesn’t pay his bills.
“It’s a hot mess,” Clorinda Walker told FOX13. “If we keep up with our bills, they can keep up with their bills, too.”
Allen Walsh is the owner of the property, which is managed by Mississippi Apartments, LLC.
“All of our money just got eaten up in trying to rehab the units,” Walsh told FOX13. “We have finally run out of money. It just took more than we figured on.”
Code Enforcement inspectors recommended the judge shut down all the units on the property. About half of the apartments are already vacated, with doors and windows covered with boards.
“Mr. Walsh, what you’re renting is substandard and it’s not legal,” Potter told the owner.
With the foreclosure in progress, a new owner appeared in court. Chuck Parker said he’s confident he can rehabilitate the property.
“I came today to keep the property from getting shut down,” Parker said. “I think the city will be very happy next week when we come back (to court).”
Water had been shut off at the apartments for days.
At Judge Potter’s request, Parker was able to get service returned to residents by transferring the Memphis Light Gas and Water account from Walsh to Parker while the two were in court.
“Projects like this that should have been finished in 2016 just dragged on with problems,” Walsh told FOX13. “We refinanced, we poured more money into it. It just didn’t work.”
Potter is skeptical Parker can repair the property.
Not wanting 40 families in the apartments to be homeless, Potter decided to give the new owner a chance, rather than condemn the property.
“Let me tell you, I have seen too many people with all these wonderful things they’re going to do,” Potter told Parker. “I want to see some action.”
Parker is expected back in court Wednesday.
He’s the third investor in recent years to purchase the property, and repair it. After years of failure, FOX13 asked if Parker is concerned the apartments are beyond repair.
“No,” Parker said. “Just because one developer goes out, doesn’t mean another developer is going out.”
Neighbors who live in the apartments aren’t as confident.
“It needs to be knocked down, to be honest,” Walker said. “It really does. We constantly getting sick. My kids are getting sick. I can't do it no more.”
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