The proud new owner of the scuzzy former Skylane Apartments on the corner of Richmond and Hazard St. is the same real-estate agent who snapped up and renovated the 2 smaller Montrose Skylane Apartments (on West Alabama) last fall — local apartment collector Cody Lutsch. Those of you keeping score at home (or using the stats to play your own round of Fantasy Montrose Landlord) will note that the addition of the 44 apartments on the half-acre site at 1901 Richmond jettisons Lutsch into the Number 5 Montrose Property Owner position — by number of units. Lutsch expects that status to be short-lived, though — as long as the expected sale of some of his other neighborhood properties goes through.
Lutsch closed on the Skylane — more recently (and colorfully) labeled the Houston Medical Apartments — last week, after much encouragement from the previous owner’s bank. Under the sale agreement, though, he’d already begun taking over management of the property: clearing out units that had been used as storage, fixing up and advertising units, and “kick[ing] out a few known bad apples.” Lutsch met with the Richwood Place Civic Association before the closing; members of that organization had been claiming that the neighborhood’s problems with crime and illegal activity stemmed from that apartment complex. “The place needs some love, that’s for sure,” Lutsch tells Swamplot. He says he plans to fix the place up and operate it “for at least the next few years.”
- Previously on Swamplot: A Neighbor’s Plans for the West Alabama Skylanes
Photos: Cody Lutsch