The new owner of the 2 “infamous” Skylane apartment complexes on West Alabama is already at work making changes. Montrose apartment investor and real-estate agent Cody Lutsch picked up the 2 foreclosed and red-tagged properties from Enterprise Bank earlier this month. For the 25-unit building at 502 West Alabama (on the corner of Garrott), Lutsch has plans to replace the window units with small ductless split A/C systems, fix some structural issues, switch to monthly instead of weekly rentals, and change the name. Also: He’d like to reduce the crime associated with the property, by adding gates, lights, security cameras, larger trash bins, and maintaining the landscaping.
Lutsch has fewer changes planned for the 32-unit Skylane across the street from Spur 527 at 219 West Alabama (above): He says he’s already begun addressing criminal and safety issues at the property, but otherwise plans to let it run “as it’s been running,” as a pay-by-the-week complex. Lutsch says he hadn’t planned to buy that property originally, but decided the property’s land size, rental income, and location might make it attractive to other investors later on.
Lutsch says he bought the 502 property (photos below) in part to help his “own little subdivision” in Montrose. The Westmoreland townhome he owns “almost directly across the street” is on the market for lease or sale, but he says he’s planning to buy a new single-family home a few blocks away.
Workers are almost finished replacing siding and windows along West Alabama. “In some spots it was so bad you could actually stick your hand inside the units from the outside,” Lutsch tells Swamplot. He also has plans to install faked windows along Garrott St.:
“I’ll be putting up faux shutters/balconies to give it some type of visual appeal as all the units have windows facing the courtyard so from the street it looks like a giant ugly shed. Here [below] is a pic of an apt building only 3 properties away. You can see what they did to make their outside look nicer (as it was just a solid brick wall… but now it LOOKS like it has exterior windows)”:
Photos: Cody Lutsch (shutters); Candace Garcia (all others)