A judge ruled Friday that the troubled Skyline Apartments and two other properties owned by former Syracuse football player Tim Green will be under new management come April 1, after years of horrible living conditions at the three apartment complexes.
Green and his son, Troy, own Skyline, Chestnut Crossing and The James apartments, all of which could be sold to Clear Investment Properties LLC. The Chicago-based real estate investment firm sought to take over management by the start of April as part of a deal with the Greens in hopes to start turning the properties around. Portions of the Skyline apartments have routinely been declared unfit for human habitation.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Danielle Fogel put the gears in motion to take these buildings out of Green National’s hands, but it could take a while before the properties are actually sold.
Fogel’s ruling came after the city of Syracuse took the Greens to court to request the properties be put into a receivership.
While the sale and receivership still need to be sorted out, at least one resident said he still doesn’t have hot water. Others expressed uncertainty about what might happen next at Skyline and the other apartments.
“The judge is very smart. She was right on it,” said Juanita Nanowsky, a longtime resident of Chestnut Crossing. “But we just don’t want either ownership or the receivership to make things even worse. We don’t know what is going to happen.”
Here’s a breakdown of Greens’ receivership case, the timeline for the sale and other key details about the properties owned by the Greens:
What does it mean for properties to be put in a receivership?
A receivership is a legal arrangement that allows a third party to intercept rent payments and reinvest profits back into a property.
The city filed documents with the court in February to begin the process to institute a receivership at four Green-owned properties.
Only one property owned by Green National has been put into a receivership so far: The Vincent Apartments. Fogel warned Green National that a receivership could be put in place for Skyline apartments, The James Apartments and Chestnut Crossing if a planned sale falls through. The Vincent Apartments were not part of that deal.
As part of the receivership hearing, Fogel could have ordered Green National pay for $1 million in repairs at the complexes but refrained from ruling until costs are determined..
City leaders said Fogel’s decision to allow the sale of the three properties and institute a receivership at Vincent Apartments was an “important step in the right direction for tenants.”
“We will continue to fight to ensure all Green National tenants are protected and have safe, quality housing; we will not stop until that happens,” Mayor Ben Walsh said in a statement.
What the receiver said about Green National properties
Documents submitted to the court raised questions about how much money it would take to bring the buildings into compliance with property codes.
Lawrence Sall, the city’s appointed receiver, advocated in a court affidavit for Green National to pay $1 million to fix issues at the Greens’ properties, but also questioned if the sum was enough to fix all the issues.
He estimated $1 million could be spent after just one month of receivership. Sall, a certified property manager from Binghamton, is currently a receiver for 37 properties in Broome County. He has managed more than 1,300 rental units, he said in the affidavit.
In a Friday interview with Central Current, Sall said he still has not been able to thoroughly inspect The Vincent Apartments. Fixes will take time, he said.
“It all depends on the cooperation of the city’s Common Council and the courts,” Sall said. “There are many factors involved. We need to learn if the buildings have tenant issues or landlord issues and then determine the correct decisions to solve the problem.”
Who is the buyer prepared to take over Skyline Apartments?
Clear Investment Properties LLC, based in Chicago, plans to buy The James Apartments, Chestnut Crossing and Skyline.
Fogel ruled the company was allowed to take over management duties at the complexes starting April 1 while the sale is finalized.
Information on the sale of the properties has not yet been publicly disclosed.
The firm has said it will spend anywhere from $7 to $12 million in upgrades to get the apartments up to code.
Larry Fuller, a Skyline resident who said he still does not have hot water in his apartment, said he hopes new ownership understands what they are getting into.
“I hope they have very deep pockets with lots of money,” he said. “They are going to need it.”
- March 24: Green National and its lawyers will be back in court to determine how receivership payments will be allocated at Vincent Apartments. Fogel asked Green National representatives to bring information about the profitability of the buildings, rents collected, and the costs of bringing the building up to compliance with the city’s codes division.
- April 1: The date Fogel ruled that Clear Investment Properties LLC will be allowed to take over management duties at the complexes while a sale is finalized. Details of the sale have not yet been publicly disclosed.
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