Residents displaced after Spartanburg apartments condemned

Park Place Apartments were condemned Wednesday, forcing residents out. (FOX Carolina)

Most of the now condemned apartments at Park Place complex in Spartanburg are vacated, but Tabatha Wofford was still moving out Thursday.

"I found out at almost 1 p. m. Wednesday that we had to be out by 5," she said. "It's crazy."

It's a saga that for Wofford started Wednesday when she learned her entire complex had been condemned.

She said the condemnation was news to her, and apparently to everyone else at the complex.

Water was cut Thursday, and utilities will be gone shortly, leaving the place unlivable. She and her boyfriend say they knew the apartment complex had problems - those date back years according to documents we obtained. Still, she did not expect the building to be condemned, saying she wished she would have had warning.

"At the core this is the story of a property owner who hasn't come close to living up to their obligations," said Spartanburg communications manager Will Rothschild. The owner, JR Kingman, Inc, neglected repairs and did not tell tenants about the condemnation threat, Rothschild said.

"Classic case of an absentee slumlord," he added.

A letter sent to Kingman in 2014 shows the city almost condemned the property then - citing rotten floors, bug infestations, and squirrels nesting in the walls.

Rothschild says the city didn't follow through then, but he says the problems have multiplied.

"We have reached the point of no return," he said. "Open gas lines, open wires, a lot of work has been done that was not permitted ... we were walking a dangerous line where there could have been a catastrophic situation."

Rothschild said the city is pointing tenants to the Housing Authority so they can find a new place to stay. Our efforts to contact the owner of the complex went unanswered.

Copyright 2016 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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