Ideally, city officials had hoped to locate a local party to take over ownership of the Riverview Apartments, but in Daczewitz Properties LLC of Salem, Oregon they may have found the next best thing.
"It's a family run business," said Valley Promotions Chairman Jerry Ostensoe. "They're interested in building towards the future because they want to pass things on. They're not interested in a quick buck which is good deal."
After three auctions and a few years of uncertainty, the Riverview Apartments saga finally came to a close when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved a sale of the 40 unit, section-8 low income house facility to Daczewitz Properties in mid-December, according to Ostensoe.
It was back in late 2009 that HUD foreclosed on Riverview after the apartment complex, formerly owned by local non-profit Valley Promotions, fell into arrears.
From 2010 to 2012, HUD brought the property to auction on three separate occasions but up until this last auction was unable come to terms with a viable candidate. Twice, a company owned by Emmanuel Ku, who has been called one of the worst slumlords in New York, was the high bidder for the property. Twice, city officials fought the sale and HUD ultimately denied the transaction.
It was this past July, during Riverview's third auction, that Ku made his second run at the apartment complex and plopped down $400,000 to become the high bidder. Once denied, HUD moved onto the second highest bidder, Daczewitz Properties, who offered $320,000 for the approximately 41 year-old structure.
Ostensoe said that thus far the company has been easy been to work with and he is convinced that Daczewitz will prove to be an asset to the community. "They're thrilled with the building, thrilled with the community and are very enthusiastic about the future," he said. "I think it will be a good thing all the way around.
"I know some people are a little unhappy it didn't remain in local ownership," Ostensoe continued. "But I think this is a very good alternative to that. Quite frankly, you have to be some kind of pro to keep up with this HUD stuff and managing properties like this is what they do for a living."
According to company information, no less than six of the business's stakeholders and employees carry the Daczewitz name.
John Daczewitz is listed as company CPA and CEO. A short biography states that he has spent the past 30 years working on affordable housing both as Owner/Operator and Independent Auditor.
The remainder of the bio says that it was this wealth of knowledge and experience that served to create the foundation on which the family partnership and that the management team has but one goal: "To provide the highest quality affordable housing to families and individuals in need."
Page 2 of 2 - According to Ostensoe, representatives of the company will fly into town later this week for a two week period to view the property and community first hand. He said that in the near future Daczewitz intends to hire a local entity to manage the apartments. Presently, Vans Binsbergen and Associates out of Montevideo is serving in this capacity.
As a part of the sales agreement Daczewitz will be responsible for a number upgrades to the facility––and while the exact nature of the improvements has yet to be revealed, Ostensoe said that the company intends to seek out local contractors to perform the work.
"We're real optimistic," he said. "We just hope to make the transition as soon and as smooth as possible."