Declaring the 42-unit Montrose complex a “common nuisance,” the county attorney’s office and the state of Texas have filed a lawsuit against the owner of the former Skylane Apartments at the corner of Richmond and Hazard St. The suit claims that the apartment complex, now known as 1901 Richmond, “habitually” harbors criminal activity and that the owner has not done enough to fix the problem. Between August 2012 and October 2013, according to the complaint, police were called approximately 100 times to the property, resulting in reports of drug possession and sales, aggravated assaults, and the discharge of ﬁrearms. The attorney’s office wants the owner to post a bond and clean up the crime problem, or shut down for a year and forfeit the money.
The property’s owner is Fat Property LLC, run by Cody Lutsch. Lutsch purchased the property in 2011, with plans to fix it up, after buying and renovating 2 other Montrose Skylanes. (Another Lutsch redo project, a 3-building complex at 1624 Holman in Midtown, was voted winner of the Swamplot “It’s Alive” Award last year by readers of this publication — for a turnaround project that included clearing the place of prostitutes and drug dealers.) Lutsch tells Houstonia magazine’s John Nova Lomax that the Richmond property is now “1000 times better” than when he bought it; an employee of the neighboring music store Sound Exchange tells the same reporter that activity at the corner “kinda calmed down there a couple of summers ago, but this past year it was bad.“