Milltown Apartments taking tenants

The former Regis Court Apartments in Deferiet, seen at the time of their closing, have reopened as the Milltown Apartments under new owners. Elaine M. Avallone/Johnson Newspapers

DEFERIET — Regis Court Apartments has reopened under a new name, Milltown Apartments, and began welcoming new tenants late last month.

Tricia Murray and Shawn Thomas, who both work together at Washington Street Properties, teamed up to purchase the 14-unit complex as Milltown Apartments LLC for $294,000 from the Clayton Improvement Association on Sept. 23. Their property manager, Rickey Martin III, has since signed leases with tenants for three apartments, including one who already moved in, Mr. Martin said.

Mr. Thomas said he and Mrs. Murray, wife of real estate developer Brian Murray, said they thought the complex, 44 Riverside Drive, would attract tenants willing to pay market rate, particularly military members. The venture has no connection with Mr. Murray or Washington Street Properties. While the improvement association used grant funds to offer the complex as affordable housing, Mr. Thomas said that limits rent rates and the pool of possible tenants based on income limits. By improving the property over time, he said they can increase the value of the property.

Renters leasing apartments will pay $695 per month for a studio, $795 per month for a single-bedroom unit and $895 per month for a two-bedroom unit. They include everything except electricity.

“We’re pretty excited,” he said. “Rickey has done a good job getting the word out on the property.”

The association closed and sold Regis Court because it could no longer keep up with rising operating costs. It managed the apartments for about 20 years and assumed ownership about 10 years ago.

Tenants, who occupied 10 of 14 units in April, were given a June 30 deadline to find new homes and were provided financial aid for their moving expenses.

Kristi P. Dippel, executive director of the improvement association, did not return a request for comment.

“The (association) did a really great job keeping up the property,” he said. “It’s just in great condition.”

After Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Murray purchased the property, Mr. Martin, who manages the property through his firm Reban Holdings LLC, said he has been replacing faucets, toilets and smoke detectors; painting, cleaning and replacing carpet with luxury linoleum tile flooring in some apartments, among performing other updates. Mr. Thomas said he would eventually like to remodel the complex and give it all a new coat of paint. With permission from Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Murray, Mr. Martin said in addition to painting the exterior of the complex, he would eventually like to build an outdoor patio and change the lighting. “I have a love for real estate. I have a bunch of properties that I manage. I’m passionate more than anything,” Mr. Martin said.

Milltown Apartments was the first purchase Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Murray made as business partners. He said they may purchase more properties from landlords struggling to operate and maintain their assets, upgrade them and lease the units at market rate.

“With a successful experience already and some pretty good fortune in the future, I think it’s something her and I will continue to examine over the years,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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