Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cedars Complex Sells for $534,600; Tulsa Mental Health Group Buys Apartments, Plots Renovations

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Cedars Complex Sells for $534,600; Tulsa Mental Health Group Buys Apartments, Plots Renovations

Article excerpt

The Mental Health Association in Tulsa paid $534,600 for the 54- unit Cedars Apartments in Tulsa, with plans for a $540,000 renovation.

That sale broke down to $9,900 a unit for the 1977 complex, almost half what Blue Valley Apartments Inc. paid for the 35,600- square-foot Cedars in 1999, according to Mike Buel, president of Norman-based Commercial Realty Resources Co.

"It's in horrible condition," said association Executive Director Michael Brose. "At least 24 of the units currently are completely uninhabitable."

Averaging planned renovation costs across the complex, Brose expects to pay another $10,000 per unit to not only refurbish the 1.5-acre complex, but also enliven its landscaping and exterior.

"I think the neighborhood and everyone around there is going to be very pleased with how it looks," he said.

This marks the second small complex acquired by the MHAT this year, following the 10-unit Royals about two miles to the west of the Cedars. It also marks the 15th debt-free property in the association's portfolio.

About half of their 396 units remain set aside for homeless or mentally ill residents. The other half provide below-market-rate housing for the needy.

"There is a huge shortage of affordable housing in our community, which really contributes to hardship on a lot of people," Brose said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "We have people calling us all the time, trying to figure out how to find affordable housing. That's one of the things that really contributes to homelessness by pricing people out of the market."

The Cedars Apartments lie less than two miles from the Yale Avenue Apartments, a $9.7 million, 76-unit complex the MHAT opened in January at 4650 E. Admiral Pl. It remains 100-percent occupied.

The Cedars complex also stands less than a mile from where the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless hopes to build the $6 million, 60- unit Hudson Villas. That complex near 11th Street and Hudson Avenue has drawn some protests from residents who fear their properties will suffer further devaluation.

"Until we announced we were going to build the Yale Avenue Apartments, we had never had any sort of protest with the neighborhood, ever," said Brose. …

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