Former management company for Beachwood luxury apartments says they were in good shape when sold

Posted at 3:52 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 20:53:10-05

The former management company for The Vue apartments in Beachwood says problems at the facility over the past two weeks don’t date back to when they were in charge. 

News 5 has been reporting on how frozen sprinkler pipes thawed the first week of January, flooding a number of apartments. Residents told us those issues were just the latest in a long line of maintenance issues at The Vue, including often broken garage doors, water interruptions and broken elevators. 

Residents we spoke to say the experiences they’ve had since new ownership took over in 2016 is far below what they had when NRP Group built and managed The Vue. 

Laura Bomgardner missed flooded pipes and apartments by just a few weeks. She started moving into her home in Mentor just before fire sprinkler pipes unleashed a disaster inside The Vue in early January. 

Woman frustrated with Beachwood apartment after flooding damages apartment

Long before that, she felt management came up short of the “luxury apartment" accommodations she bought into. Her latest example was when she filed a police report, stating she lost more than $1,000 of property when maintenance didn’t lock her door after changing air filters. 

When she told The Vue’s management, she says they didn’t do anything to help her. 

“It’s marketed as a luxury home and we pay for that and it’s disappointing that they don’t do the right thing,” said Bomgardner. 

Her lease ends in February, capping off three years living in The Vue and a lot of frustration with Stark Enterprises and Stark’s management arm, Comet Management, which runs the building. 

Bomgardner has been at The Vue long enough to remember when the original builder and owner, NRP Group, was in charge. 

“Accidents happen and mistakes happen and from my memory, when those things would happen, extra steps were taken to try to make it right,” said Bomgardner. 

NRP Group released the following statement to News 5, explaining they haven't been involved with the property since 2016 when it was sold to Strategic Properties, who then hired Stark Enterprises to manage it.

“All NRP properties are built to the highest standards of quality, and managed with resident satisfaction as a guiding principle. We cannot speak directly to the current issues described at The Vue since we have not owned or managed the building since 2016. At the time of transfer the building went through a thorough due diligence process and was found to have no issues. Extreme weather conditions can lead to the types of issues described in your reports, however, they can usually be quickly remedied with proper communication and responsiveness.”

Bomgardner says, for her, a response from management would at least be some kind of compensation for what was stolen. 

No immediate solutions for residents of Beachwood luxury apartment that flooded due to frozen pipes

“My loss was at the hands of your negligence,” said Bomgardner. “You may not legally have to do that, but it would be the right thing to do, and I would feel a valued resident if you were to do that.”

Stark Enterprises finally got back to News 5 Monday night. The following is a statement from Stark Enterprises regarding The Vue Apartment Homes:

Stark Enterprises’ apartment management affiliate, Comet Management, continues to address and correct the problems brought about by frigid weather in The Vue, a luxury apartment community in Beachwood, and we have just been made aware of an additional fire sprinkler system pipe bursting this evening, impacting four additional apartment units.

The Vue has a total of 348 apartment units, 19 of which have been impacted because of the extended sub-zero weather we have all been experiencing. We have been offering affected residents other accommodations and will make the same offer to the people impacted tonight. Some residents have been relocated to other units, while some have sought out their own temporary accommodations.

We feel horrible about this, it’s completely unacceptable to us, and we vow to get to the bottom of the underlying problem and fix it. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused some of our tenants, and though we know it is difficult, we ask them to be patient as we work through these issues to remediate them, and work to prevent them from happening again. Comet’s policy is to address issues for its tenants as expeditiously and as quickly as possible.

The week of January 1st brought frigid temperatures and related issues to many buildings around the country. The sub-zero weather caused bursting water pipes from the sprinkler system on the first and second floors. Common hallways on the first floor, the fitness center, and our children’s activity center have also been impacted. Comet Management will continue to vigorously advocate on behalf of the residents of The Vue, and Comet is committed to achieve the best remedy possible for the residents of The Vue, as quickly as possible.

Stark Enterprises has a long and honorable record of first class, award winning, management of the apartment, office, hotel, retail, and mixed use developments that it develops, builds, and owns.

The following is a statement from Strategic Properties of North America regarding The Vue Apartment Homes:

The Vue is owned by Strategic Properties of North America (SPNA), a National Real Estate investment firm with headquarters in Chicago Il and Lakewood NJ. SPNA purchased The Vue from NRP of Cleveland in 2016.

SPNA has identified Cleveland as a potential new market to expand its investment portfolio and chose The Vue in Beachwood to determine the strength of the Cleveland market. SPNA selected Comet Management, Stark Enterprises’ apartment management affiliate, because of its sterling reputation and commitment to excellence and because of Stark’s storied commitment to advancing investment in Cleveland.

Since the time Comet was first hired, as third-party manager, a number of latent construction defects began to appear. Preliminary expert analysis of recent frigid weather damage to The Vue suggests these issues were likely the result of original building defects. The building was originally developed and built by NRP of Cleveland, and these latent defects are surprising, given the NRP’s reputation for quality construction.