Arlington council member calls town hall meeting over complaints at Paddock on Park Row apartments
An Arlington council member will host a town hall Thursday, Jan. 12, to address over two years of complaints about drainage, parking and poor communication at the Paddock on Park Row. The apartment complex is part of a pilot project to address the city’s need for affordable housing.
Rebecca Boxall, District 5 council member, has organized a 6 p.m. community meeting Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church, 210 Park Row Drive, to get to the bottom of several complaints heard from residents since the property reopened in 2020 with a new owner, Lincoln Avenue Capital, and a multimillion-dollar renovation.
“The idea was to get everybody in one room and discuss all these issues face to face, rather than relying on, ‘This person said this, this person said that,’” Boxall said in a phone interview.
Boxall, both as a council member and a previous president of the nearby Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association, said she’s received conflicting reports over the years about the complex at 420 W. Park Row Drive.
Residents over the years have reported numerous instances of leaking pipes and flooding issues that waterlogged furniture and displaced them from their homes. Boxall said some experienced drainage issues and burst pipes during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Neighbors have also complained that the number of tenants and guests parking along the curbs makes their neighborhoods difficult for emergency vehicles to reach them, Boxall said.
Boxall attributed sewage issues to the property’s age. Previous owners, who operated the complex under the names Spanish Park Apartments and Cooper Crossing, were threatened with hefty fines for violating city minimum housing standards in 2007. The property was constructed in the ‘60s.
“There’s some serious issues out there that are very difficult to address, let’s put it that way,” Boxall said.
Lincoln Avenue Capital has spent more than $25 million on the Paddock since acquiring the property in 2019, according to an apartment spokesperson. The company initially invested $14 million in renovations, but the price tag rose as developers found more issues.
However, residents have said lingering issues affected their quality of life in the apartments—and fear of retaliation from management for broaching issues.
“I’m hoping some tenants will come,” Boxall said. “It’s been claimed that none of them will come because they’re fearing retaliation, but we’ll see if some actual tenants show up.”
Asked about retaliation claims, a Paddock spokesperson said management resolves concerns when residents raise them.
“We continue to work closely with all stakeholders to support the community and value our collaborative relationship with our residents, professional partners and the city of Arlington,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
Boxall said she receives weekly reports on apartment conditions and actions taken when issues arise.
“When I receive these reports, though, they look really good on paper, but they don’t always corroborate with what I’m being told by other people, so that’s why we’re having this meeting, so that we can really hash all this out,” she said.
The Paddock is the first of its kind in Arlington. The renovation was a partnership between Lincoln Avenue Capital and Arlington Housing Finance Corporation. It also received a 4% state tax credit, which is awarded to projects that develop affordable housing.
A spokesperson from Lincoln Avenue Capital said a property representative will attend.
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