Legal Aid and Polsinelli Shughart PC Turn Blighted Apartment Complex into New Special Needs Housing

Legal Aid of Western Missouri (LAWMO) client: Some years ago, investors from California and Colorado (“Arrowhead Village, LLC”) purchased Timbercreek Apartments, a 115 unit apartment complex, near the VA hospital on the east side of Kansas City. The apartment complex was vacant, but Arrowhead said it had plans to rehab the apartments and get them occupied. Instead of doing that, however, Arrowhead let the apartment complex become more and more blighted, providing no security or maintenance, failing to pay taxes, allowing squatters and the property to become a dumping ground.

On May 14, 2010, Legal Aid of Western Missouri filed suit against Arrowhead alleging violations of the Abandoned Housing Act and of civil nuisance laws. LAWMO represented Swope Community Builders in the case. Polsinelli Shughart PC law firm represented a Swope affiliate in the case on a pro bono basis.

In late August 2010, LAWMO and Arrowhead’s attorney negotiated an agreement under which Arrowhead will surrender its ownership interest in the property to Swope Community Builders for a relatively minor payment to be made by Swope within two to three years. Swope Community Builders will demolish the existing structures and plans to redevelop the site with special needs housing, specifically, housing that will benefit those who are physically, emotionally, or mentally impaired; developmentally disabled; homeless; or a youth aging out of foster care. The benefit for the neighborhood will be dramatic.