Seniors ousted from Downtown apartments again due to renovations

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-17 21:41:21-04

San Diego (KGTV)— Seniors living in an old downtown apartment say the continuous renovations are getting intolerable. They believe that management is mishandling the fast-paced construction, leaving elderly residents in distress.

76-year-old Robert Evans has called the Luther Tower apartment building “home” for the last 11 years. He says it is in a fantastic location in Downtown San Diego. But he says his experience here has been anything but.

“It’s been a fight the whole way,” Evans said. 

Last November, the low-income senior apartments were sold to new owners. The City of San Diego approved the sale, only if new management upgraded all the units by the end of the year. But residents say the recent construction projects have ruined their livelihoods. They say so far, contractors who have brought in heavy machinery, have broken the old elevators. They have also been asked to leave their homes for days at a time, for balcony pressure washing. And now, some residents are being ousted for another week, this time to replace the cabinets. 

Evans says he would have left years ago, had it not been for financial reasons. His current rent is $436 a month.

“I wouldn’t mind being out if I have somewhere else to go. I have no place else to go,” Evans said. 

Management sent a letter, telling residents, they will be bussed from the Luther Tower to the Hampton Inn on Beech Street at 5 a.m. Monday so that crews can begin their work. Unfortunately, check-in time for the hotel is 4 p.m. That means the seniors potentially have to sit around and wait with their suitcases for up to 11 hours until they can get into their rooms. 

“I thought that’s intolerable. They’re going to deprive me of my sleep, and make me wait 9 or 10 hours until our hotel comes,” Evans said.

Evans was able to talk to management to arrange for an earlier pickup time on Sunday instead of Monday. He has since been packing in a rush. 

“I told them my problem. I told them I need a couple more hours to pack,” Evans said.

10News contacted Royal Management, who manages Luther Tower. A representative sent us a prepared statement explaining all the renovations. [photo attached]. They also told us “They’ve [Residents have] been granted immediate access and tomorrow will be the same. I just reverified with the front desk.”

“The question is, who do I trust?” Evans asked, skeptically.

The other residents are still scheduled to be bussed from the apartment building to the Hampton Inn tomorrow at 5 p.m.