By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
An Oklahoma County judge agreed with a request by the City of Midwest City to vacate an apartment complex due to safety concerns.
The Midwest Pointe Apartments, 403 Silverwood Dr., has been declared dilapidated and unsafe by the city due to structural issues, water damage, leaks in ceilings, and mold in several of the buildings.
The city issued emergency orders that all tenants must vacate the property by Aug. 1.
Silverwood Estates, LLC, which owns the property, filed for both a temporary and permanent injunction, blocking the city’s efforts to vacate 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, as they believe the city is “effectively condemning” the property without just compensation or due process, according to their lawsuit.
Last Thursday, Judge Natalie Mai lifted the temporary injunction. She ordered that the apartment complex must be vacated by Sept. 30 and no new residents can move in until repairs are made.
The property owner must erect a security fence around the entire complex. The city will have access to all vacant apartment units and can also access any occupied units with approval from the tenants.
A new engineering report will be completed including a timeline for repairs.
The property owner’s claim of inverse condemnation will continue.
At Thursday’s hearing, the judge heard from representatives of Silverwood Estates, the City of Midwest City and Legal Aid, which is helping current and former tenants at Midwest Pointe Apartments.
About 20-25 of the 125 units in the apartment complex are still occupied as of last week. City attorney Don Maisch said Legal Aid’s representative said their tenants could meet the Sept. 30 deadline.
Maisch said city leaders are satisfied with the judge’s decision.
“We got pretty much everything that we wanted for help and the safety of the residents,” he said. “Our case deals with safety issues and the safety of the tenants.”
He said the ruling will allow the city to better evaluate the condition of the buildings and ensure that property repairs are made before they can lease to new tenants.
While the temporary injunction has been lifted, Silverwood Estates’ claim of inverse condemnation will proceed. Maisch believes it could be 18-24 months before the case is heard.