Wednesday, July 05, 2000

Demolition set for tornado-damaged apartments

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SYMMES TOWNSHIP — Demolition of the Village Brooke Apartments, ravaged by the April 9, 1999, tornado, is scheduled to begin this month, no later than July 28.

        Township Administrator Steve Grote said he has been notified by the apart ment complex's Denver-based owner, AIMCO (Apartment Investment and Management Co.), that the complex at the northeast corner of Kemper and Montgomery roads will be razed, even though settlement on four of six insurance policies on the development has not been reached.

        In a letter to Mr. Grote, AIMCO executive vice president and general counsel Joel Bonder wrote:

        “We propose that whether or not we are able to resolve our (insurance) claim, demolition of Village Brooke” will occur.

        About 1,000 people lived in the 300-unit complex, and all were displaced by the storm damage, officials said.

        Mr. Bonder told the Enquirer that AIMCO is studying a number of options for future use of the land, and redevelopment of a residential apartment complex is among them.

        Mr. Grote said the crux of the matter is the amount of damage to the complex, which exceeds $10 million. Insurance carriers have agreed to cover $10 million, but damage estimates ran as high as $22 million.

        AIMCO is still involved in settling claims with Travelers Property Casualty, Evanston Insurance Co., CIGNA Insurance Co. and Commonwealth Insurance Co., all of which provided some coverage to the development.


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