Gardens at Cloverland Saved

By Eileen Jones - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Gardens at Cloverland apartments won't get the wrecking ball at least not for now. The apartments received a new lease on life when a circuit judge decided to allow the owners to continue to renovate the units.

The problems at the Gardens at Cloverland apartments have been plaguing the city for months.  After repeated attempts to get the owners to clean up and fix up, the city council voted to knock it down, but it took court intervention to give the owners another chance.

The attorney for the owners, John DeBuys,  says "We have a contractor who the court is aware of that is going to come in and rehab 12 initially and then from there we'll take them in groups of 24 and hopefully over a short period of time we'll have the apartments rehabbed."

Located on the city's west side of town between Court Street and Norman Bridge Road, the owners had to put up a fence about a week ago to get all of the tenants and the squatters out. Now, the 160 unit complex is all empty and probably won't fill up again for about a year while the renovations are being done.

"This is a project that should be and can be revived and it would be a waste of property if they would allow this to be taken down," says DeBuys.

The Assistant Attorney for the city of Montgomery, Michael Boyle, says "The city has only wanted clean affordable housing for the mid to lower income individuals. Unfortunately, out of town investors come in and buy these properties and don't keep them up and our citizens are the ones who suffer because of it."

The owners estimate the renovations will cost from $24,000 to $35,000 for each apartment and there are 160 apartments in that complex.

The owners also say they plan to eliminate all copper tubing and wiring to prevent the vandalism they've had in the past.

The city will be allowed to do periodic inspections and if inspectors find out the owners are not living up to their agreement the city can take them back to court for the judge to make a final decision.