Bidding starts at $400K for Brumfield Apartments

Published 12:04 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

ERIC SHELTON/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — A truck passes the historic Brumfield School Apartments Friday afternoon in Natchez. The owners of the property are currently accepting bids starting at $400,000.

NATCHEZ — The historic Brumfield School Apartments facility is currently up for grabs to the highest bidder following a sudden management desertion this spring.

Owners of the building, whose occupants were forced to vacate in March after the housing complex’s management company skipped town, are currently accepting bids starting at $400,000 until Aug. 31, the ownership group’s attorney, Scott Slover, said.

Slover, a local lawyer, said the complex’s owner, Gleichman and Company, formerly purchased the 33,000-square-foot building in 1994 and restored it to generate income from tax incentives.

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The housing complex has served mostly low-income individuals through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 voucher program since the current owners bought it.

Slover said Gleichman and Company invested several million dollars in the project during its ownership.

“The investment has run its course (for its current owners),” Slover said. “(Now) someone else can use it as an investment property,” Slover said.

Slover said the former schoolhouse contains 29 apartments, including 12 one-bedrooms apartments and 17 two-bedroom apartments.

The building also contains a 3,800-foot daycare center facility complete with a kitchen and office, Slover said.

Officials from the managing company, Stanford Management, slipped letters under residents’ doors Jan. 27 and in the mayor’s mailbox Jan. 25 saying they would no longer be running the building starting Feb. 1.

Stanford had reportedly defaulted on many of its utility bills before abandoning the complex and its residents.

Soon after the initial notice, residents were told they had to be out by March 31, leaving many residents scrambling for an affordable place to relocate at such short notice.

Owner of the, Gleichman and Company, Pam Gleichman, told The Democrat in April Stanford Management’s improper handling of their sudden exit at Brumfield disappointed her. Gleichman said she owned less than 50 percent of stock in Stanford, but she no longer has control over the company’s operations.

Ward 4 Alderman Ernest “Tony” Fields, whose district the complex is located, said the Brumfield Apartments have potential to be a nice place to live if run correctly.

“It would be my hope that (the owners) sell it to someone locally who would really care about the property,” Fields said. “In my opinion (the building is) a historic landmark in the community.”