Del City condemns apartment complex

Tuesday, September 23rd 2008, 9:07 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

DEL CITY, Okla. -- Some Del City residents are scrambling to find a new place to live. The apartments they live in have been condemned by the city.

The owner is from California. According to the city, he's not taking care of his property. Eleven buildings at the complex were recently condemned and that's just part of the story.

Kevin Eyster is getting ready for another move. Just four months ago, he made the Logan Point Apartments his new home. But now, he's being forced to pack up again.

"We're living in a condemned building right now," Eyster said.

Eyster and his wife, Deborah, live in one of the 11 buildings the city wants torn down. Kevin recently lost his job and Deborah is disabled. This move doesn't come at a good time.

"Cause I don't know what to do, I really don't," Kevin said.

"We've got a property owner who refuses to take care of his property and intends to hide behind every legal process that he can," City Planner, Tom Weatherbee said.

Weatherbee said the owner, Shashikant Jogani, lives in a home in California. Yet people in his apartments are living in dangerous conditions.

"They were cutting the bottom of the studs that held up the bearing wall for the building; they cut them off, cut the bottom plate off," Weatherbee said. "They scabbed in little 2 X 4s in a lot of places that's what's holding up these buildings now."

Weatherbee said mold is being painted over and raw sewage is also a problem. The apartment is just one of several Jogani owns in Oklahoma. Last month, a man was electrocuted at the Kristie Manor Apartments. They had been condemned and were supposed to have 24-hour security.

"They've been run out of their home states because of increased regulation, they've moved to Oklahoma and they've come and found a ripe environment where they think they can get away with letting people live in this sort of condition," Weatherbee said. "Well, they're not going to get away with it in Del City."

As for Kevin and his wife, they're just trying to find their next home.

"I'm not stuck between a rock and a hard place, we've been pushed through the rock," Kevin said.

The police department is still investigating and the owner could face criminal charges for the electrocution.

An Oklahoma City attorney representing the apartment owner declined an on-camera interview but gave a statement.

Tony Gailer said the company is "working closely with the city of Del City and responding timely to their inquiries and concerns. We are trying to resolve the matters as promptly as possible."