Board affirms vote to demolish East Dallas apartment complex

the dallas morning news

August 1995


Veronica Alaniz Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

 

An East Dallas apartment complex, deemed by city officials to be unfit to live in, will be demolished if a state judge does not grant an appeal from its owners to save it.

The Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board on Tuesday affirmed an earlier decision to have the 45 unit
Lakewood Apartments torn down, even though a potential developer presented plans to spend nearly $1
million to remodel the complex. "We have an obligation to the neighborhood to get rid of this nuisance, and in this case it means demolition," said board chairman Barwin Gaines.

Board members said it would take more than $1 million to bring the complex up to code.
Its fate is still undecided.

State District Judge John Marshall is scheduled to consider a request Wednesday from the building's owner,
Kip Riser, for a restraining order to prevent the demolition.

Residents of the 30 year old apartment complex and neighbors have complained to the city about roaches,
sewage leaks, broken windows and other problems.

Braden Power, a developer who has renovated smaller apartment buildings in the area, had said he would
buy the property for $100,000 and spend $1 million to improve it. Board members rejected his plan, saying
that he lacked financing.

Board member Gregory Ibanez said he favored trying to rehabilitate the apartment complex but worried that the project might not succeed.

Lakewood tenants said it would be nice to see the place fixed up. However, they said they are glad the city
has decided to move forward with demolition plans.

"It needs to be torn down," tenant Mary Kessler said after learning of the board's decision to tear down the
place she has called home for the last two years.

"We've been looking for another place to live, but we can't leave without some money," she said. "It's too
expensive."

Jeff Veazy, an attorney for the Housing Crisis Center who represents several residents of the complex, said
the board's demolition order will make them eligible for city relocation funds.


Copyright 1995 The Dallas Morning News Company