By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
An Oklahoma County judge has put the brakes on the City of Midwest City’s efforts to vacate an apartment complex due to safety concerns.
Last Thursday, Judge Natalie Mai issued a temporary injunction preventing the city from taking any action to vacate the Midwest Pointe Apartments, 403 Silverwood Dr. The city may cut electricity to vacant buildings.
City officials declared the Midwest Pointe Apartments as dilapidated and asked all residents to vacate the property by Aug. 1. The apartment complex has been deemed unsafe by the city due to structural issues, water damage, leaks in ceilings, and mold in several of the buildings.
Silverwood Estates, LLC, which owns the property, filed for both a temporary and permanent injunction, blocking the city’s efforts to condemn the property. The judge granted the request due to concerns about hot temperatures and relocation of tenants.
The apartment owner is also seeking an inverse condemnation. Their attorney Colin Walke argues that the city is “effectively condemning” the property without just compensation or due process. He said that only six units would need to be vacated according to an engineer’s report, but the city ordered the entire complex to be vacated.
A hearing on the temporary injunction has been set for Aug. 24 at 3:30 p.m.
The city council received a report from city staff May 16 identifying hazardous conditions and code violations throughout the complex. The owner and the management company for the complex were put on notice that issues within the facility needed to be addressed immediately.
On June 20, city staff issued emergency orders to all apartments in the complex. The notices explained that the complex no longer meets minimum housing standards and was declared dilapidated by the city council. The complex was ordered to be vacated by Aug. 1.
The complex has had 64 code violations since November 2019. They range from structural damage to routine maintenance. City staff were unable to locate permits for any repairs made to the facility.
Pictures from within the complex show makeshift structural supports and failing staircases.
About half of the 120 apartment units are vacant, according to city attorney Don Maisch. He said the city has pulled electric meters from some of the vacant buildings and will remove others.
Midwest Pointe Apartments consists of multiple two-story buildings. Most have eight units.