The recent purchase of an apartment complex in Washougal has its residents attempting to figure out where they will move to, within the next 90 days.
Four limited liability corporations, based in Beaverton, Oregon, have purchased Park View East Apartments from Elizabeth Trainor, of Portland.
The $3.9 million purchase was made by STK Brugger, LLC; 4RT Brugger, LLC; SFT Brugger, LLC; and LPRP Brugger, LLC.
After the ownership change occurred, tenants received a letter from Sara Ontiveros, operations manager of the apartment complex at 4290 Addy St.
The Sept. 30 correspondence mentioned the new ownership group plans to complete significant improvements, including interior renovations.
The renovations are scheduled to begin in early 2016.
“Unfortunately, these renovations will require the apartment homes to be vacant,” Ontiveros wrote.
Another notice of a scheduled move out date will be provided 20 to 60 days in advance, to allow residents time to find new housing.
“We certainly understand moving is stressful, and we will not be increasing your rent or utility charges between now and the time of your actual vacancy date, per the notice to vacate,” the letter stated.
Ontiveros said she is preparing a packet of information for residents regarding what will happen at the complex.
She works for Madrona Ridge Residential, a Seattle-based company that also manages Lookout at the Ridge apartments, in Washougal.
Last month, residents of Ghim Village, a Madrona Ridge-managed complex in Hazel Dell, received 22 days notice to vacate their townhomes.
Residents of Courtyard Village Apartments, in Vancouver, received 20 days notice to vacate in December 2014. That complex is also managed by Madrona Ridge Residential.
The company is already marketing Park View East as Parc East on its website, www.madronaridgellc.com/communities/region/168-washington.html.
Donnie McAlexander, a Park View East resident for five years, said he and quite a few of his neighbors are on Social Security.
He referred to an Oct. 8 posting on Craigslist that mentioned two bedroom apartments at “Parc East” would be available soon for $900 to $1,000 per month.
The online posting has since been deleted by its author.
McAlexander, 65, thinks the renovations will be like “putting lipstick on a pig.”
During a walk around the complex Wednesday, McAlexander mentioned the names of several of his neighbors — people he has befriended and knows on a first-name basis.
“They are regular people,” he said.
McAlexander’s familiarity with occupants at the complex includes a neighbor’s pets — a dog named Bailey and a cat named Luna.
Mary Marin, a regional manager with Madrona Ridge Residential, said the current residents of Park View East could move back in after the renovations are done “as long as they qualify with the standard qualification criteria in credit, income and criminal background check.”
The renovations, to be done on a rotating basis, are expected to take three months to be completed.
They will include new flooring and cabinets.
“Improvements to properties like Parc East are long overdue and enhance the livability of an apartment community that has experienced deferred maintenance and lower rent values over time,” Marin said.
“Improvements to the property are a significant capital investment in the property, and rent increases are projected in the return on investment analysis of those investments,” she added.
She said Madrona Ridge Residential, which was hired to carry out the directives of the owner in accordance with local landlord/tenant laws, will be working with local agencies to provide resources to the current residents as they search for places to move to.
Roger Melton has lived at Park View East for eight years.
He is retired and on Social Security.
“It will be hard to get a place,” Melton said. “I’ve been looking since I got the notice.”
He is currently paying $660 per month for a two-bedroom, one bathroom apartment, with a garage.
Anthony Meeks pays the same rate as Melton.
Meeks, a disabled veteran who is receiving Social Security payments, lives with his dad.
Meeks does not know where they will move to.
“There are no openings in my price range,” he said. “It is unjustifiable to kick more than 100 residents out.”
Meeks has lived at Park View East for four years.
Meeks used to work for Trainor, and provided maintenance services in the apartments.
Trainor purchased the Park View East complex and 2.35 acres of land for $2.3 million in March 2005.
The Jan. 1, 2015, assessment value of the land and buildings was $3.05 million.
Karen Whitworth lives in a Park View East apartment with her daughter and grandson.
She has been a resident there for three years.
Whitworth has not yet found her next residence.
“I’ve looked and looked and looked,” she said.
Whitworth predicts the move will be difficult for her grandson, in preschool.
“He just made friends,” she said.
“I’ve never been evicted,” Whitworth added.
She is hoping to buy a house one day, after paying down debts.
“A lot of people are struggling,” Whitworth said.