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Management changes at Baldwin Borough apartment complex

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A plan for improvement will continue at a once-troubled Baldwin Borough apartment complex, even as the site once again faces new management, representatives say.

The 1,050-unit Residences of South Hills, formerly the Leland Point apartment complex, is under new management less than two years after the 55-acre site was sold for $10 million to a three-company partnership that boasted plans for improvement at the complex where residents once complained of deplorable living conditions.

New York City-based Westminster Management, a division of Kushner Companies, recently took over management of the site, property manager Mark Vierheller said. Previously, the property was managed by Chardon, Ohio-based Apollo Property Management.

The change in management companies will not trigger any adjustments to plans at the Residences of South Hills, including the ongoing goal to improve the complex, Vierheller said. Staff members also will remain the same.

“It's the same group of folks, and we hope to be able to continue to improve the (complex),” Vierheller said. “We're continuing to move forward with everything we were doing before.”

Improvements have been under way at the complex since the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office intervened in May 2010 and worked to improve daily living conditions and reduce crime. The complex was sold in June 2011 as part of a multistate acquisition to New York-based Kushner Companies, which partnered with Apollo Property Management and Square Mile Capital of New York for the purchase.

The change in management at the Residences of South Hills, simply, is that the Kushner Companies' affiliated management, Westminster, now is working on site, instead of the other property owner, Apollo, Vierheller said.

The change likely was part of an initial agreement between the parties, he said.

Baldwin leaders have kept a close eye on improvements at the site, borough manager John Barrett said. Since the new ownership company took over, officials have held meetings at least twice a year with the management to discuss the progress, he said.

With the new management, that is something they want to ensure continues.

“We obviously want to keep communication open with whoever is up there,” Barrett said. “Because they're responsible for such a large part of the borough's residents and community, it's important to keep (track of what's going on there).”

Police and fire officials also are working to schedule a walk-through at the complex to review the status of fire alarms on site, Barrett said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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