Lake View Terrace residents moved out for extensive renovations

NOW: Lake View Terrace residents moved out for extensive renovations

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – Completed in 1969, the fifteen story Lake View Terrace high rise is home to around ninety residents, many of them senior citizens—some living with disabilities.

Now those tenants have vacated, as the building’s outdated infrastructure is causing serious problems, with leaks and mold growing in the walls.

Tyrone Hassel of Hassel Free Moving said “They have some old, galvanized pipes and they’re having a lot of plumbing issues, so what they’re doing is they’re going in and getting to the problem, with the plumbing and the mold remediation.”

Nicole Brown, Executive Director of the St. Joe Housing Commission told me that they received $4.9 million in grant money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development—or HUD—to tackle the renovation process, which will not only replace the plumbing, but also make major updates to all 107 units in the building, with new bathrooms, cabinets and flooring.

“It will almost be like a new building that they’ll be coming back to,” she said.

But in the meantime, residents have been moved out of the building and into hotels in Benton Township for the duration of the renovation process.

Tenants are not expected to move back in until late Spring.

“There are kind of some mixed feelings with some of them,” Hassel said. “Some of them, they didn’t want to go, and some of them were happy to go! I think, once we got them all over there, I think they all were happy. It was like, the hotel is so nice, and they were like ‘it’s like being on vacation, I don’t wanna go back, leave me here!’”

The Housing Commission focused on hiring local contractors for the project.

Tyrone Hassel has spent the past thirty days moving out the ninety occupied units.

“It was crunch time,” he told me. “I know I’ve got contractors coming in behind me, so I had to be able to get it done, so I was eating and sleeping and dreaming this move. But we did it.”

With that job done, the renovation can finally begin.

“The demo is behind me. I do know that for sure,” Hassel said.

Despite receiving $4.9 million from HUD, the Housing Commission applied for roughly $900,000 more to keep tenants housed in hotels through the month of May—as well as replace hot water pipes in the building.

They’re also working to get funding to replace the thirty year old refrigerators and stoves in all the units.

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