Disputed Allens Lane apartments to undergo renovations under new management

 126-138 West Allens Lane in Mt. Airy. (Aaron Moselle/WHYY)

126-138 West Allens Lane in Mt. Airy. (Aaron Moselle/WHYY)

Renovations at a run-down Mt. Airy apartment complex are now scheduled to wrap up next August.

Work resumed at the four-building site at 126-138 W. Allens Lane a little over a month ago after the project was transferred to SBG Management Services, Inc.

The Abington-based company purchased the rental property from Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners and will finish the overhaul, the first since the complex opened in 1959.

Iron Stone bought the complex last summer.

“This property was an eye-sore and a degradation on the neighborhood,” said Phillip Pulley, director of operations at SBG. “I want to see this be a positive aspect of the neighborhood. I want to see it contribute to the neighborhood.”

When construction is complete, a total of 54 one and two-bedroom apartments will be available for lease.One-bedroom apartments will start at $1,250 per month. Two bedrooms will begin at $1,350 month.

Each unit – previously priced at $650 and $750 respectively, according to former tenants – will feature hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, central air and a washer and dryer.

“It’s not luxury, it’s not low-income. It’s right in the middle,” said Pulley.

The property’s roof and windows have already been replaced.

Crews are tackling one building at a time to enable new tenants to move in as soon as possible. Pulley hopes to have some units available in October.

All previous tenants were displaced so construction could get started.

The upgrades will be a welcome change for a complex that, before being gutted, was home to a laundry list of code violations covering a wide-range of repair categories, including roof, ceiling, plumbing and electrical.

Conditions at the property were in such a sorry state that a small group of tenants banded together last summer and filed a fair housing complaint with the city’s Fair Housing Commission.

The Aug. 3 complaint, which asked that all violations be rectified before renovations moved forward, was ultimately dropped by members of the 136 West Allens Lane Tenant Association, many of whom decided to move on.

SBG manages more than a dozen rental properties in and around the city. The company purchased Cresheim Apartments in Mt. Airy in December.

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