Residents to leave as renovation set for Savannah building

December 26, 2019 GMT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Residents of a high-rise apartment building in Savannah are being forced to move out after the building was sold.

Local news outlets report that Atlanta-based QR Capital bought the Chatham Apartments in October for $25.6 million.

Many current tenants of the 233-unit building receive federal subsidies to help pay the rent. Daniel Malino of QR Capital says that over the next 12 months, managers and a national relocation company will help current tenants find new places to live.

“Each of the tenants that currently receives housing assistance should continue to receive assistance upon relocation to another property,” Malino told the Savannah Morning News.

Advocates fear the relocations will worsen the lack of affordable housing in downtown Savannah, which is under heavy development pressure.

Residents say there are staggered deadlines for moving — the end of December, April and even as late as September.

The 14-story building dates to 1952 and is one of the largest properties in Savannah for disabled and elderly residents. WTOC-TV reports than in 2015, a study found 197 units were subsidized.

A 2017 study found a “major lack of housing” for the disabled in the city.

The building will undergo a comprehensive renovation starting in late 2020 or early 2021, Malino said. The total cost and scope of work are not yet known, he said.

QR Capital says on its website that it specializes in apartments and student housing.