Blighted Oklahoma City apartment complex reduces property values, homeowner says

A longtime northwest Oklahoma City resident sees a rundown rental property as the source of her neighborhood's decline.
BY JOEY STIPEK jstipek@opubco.com Published: May 6, 2013
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For 26 years, Robbie Tate has lived two blocks from the Lantana Apartments, a boarded-up, burned-out complex that Oklahoma City officials say is among its most troublesome rental properties in the city.

Tate said her home has lost $20,000 in value because of the impact the apartments have on her neighborhood off NW 10 between Council Road and Rockwell Avenue.

Tate, 82, said she “can't believe this goes on and on,” worrying that firefighters' lives could be lost protecting the structures. After a fire there in February 2012, Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Cecil Clay said most of the buildings in the complex had been on fire at one time or another.

“It's a dangerous situation,” Clay said.

Tate contemplated the problem one sunny afternoon last month as she swept out her garage: “You just see your whole neighborhood declining and it's just sad to see.”

At 7408 NW 10, the unoccupied Lantana is flanked by occupied apartment complexes.

41 violations in 5 years

Code enforcement inspectors have cited Lantana's owners for 41 code violations since May 2008, the year a pizza delivery man was murdered there.

As of Thursday, owner AMG Riverton LLC of Santa Monica, Calif., owed $153,204.89 in back property taxes and unpaid liens.

AMG Riverton's Mike Minder, of Irvine, Calif., said previous owners ran up the bill. The Lantana has been sold twice in the past three years; Minder bought it in June 2012.

He said he bought it because he thinks the area rental base is strong enough to turn it around.

Nevertheless, the Oklahoma County treasurer's office has the Lantana on a list of properties to be sold at public auction the second Monday of June.


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