Lantana Apartments on 7804 Northwest 10th Street in Oklahoma City was built in the 1970’s, but closed in the early 2000’s. Since then, it’s been abandoned and continues to deteriorate over the years.
The complex is right next to an elementary school. Junk and debris are piled up. Tall weeds surround the property. There are also boarded up windows and walls on the buildings that are still standing.
“It is an eyesore to the community,” said Brent Bryant, Economic Development Program Manager.
He said there have been over 100 calls to police and fire departments regarding issues at the complex even though it is not actively in business. With people squatting in the buildings, first responders have responded to several fires and disturbances. Bryant said it is a significant drain on city resources.
This week, Bryant is hopeful that Lantana Apartments will soon get a new makeover. On Tuesday, the City Council members unanimously approved an economic development agreement with a third-party company called Hartford Rentals.
Managing member Joshua Tabone with Hartford said the ownership of Lantana Apartments is in the process of being transferred to them. He said the previous owner, Regatta Capital Group, reached out to Hartford.
“It just needed someone to come in and bridge the gap between the two parties and makes something economically feasible,” Justin Tabone told News 9 over the phone.
Tabone said his company specializes in turning around severely distressed properties in mostly low-income neighborhoods.
Hartford Rentals will invest about $3.1 million to rebuild 102 units over the next 18 months.
“Structurally, [the buildings] are actually in pretty decent shape, but it is pretty much a full rebuild,” said Tabone.
Bryant said he is hopeful about Hartford Rentals.
“We believe that this developer is serious,” said Bryant.
Within the last few months, Hartford Rentals has already paid over $90,000 in past due taxes. While there are still over $300,000 in liens owed to the city, Bryant believes this agreement will allow them to release the liens in the future.
Groundbreaking for the project on reviving Lantana Apartments could start as early as March 2017.