After affordable Volker apartments sold, residents frustrated to hear they have to leave

Business

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tenants at a few Volker neighborhood apartments will soon have to find a new place to live.

Those living at Muehlebach Apartments, located on 41st Street, and Bakers Corner Apartments, located on 39th Street, recently found out they have a new landlord. Now renovations will force them out.

Her apartment at Muehlebach has been a special place for Nina Fardipour.

“I moved in here almost a decade ago,” she said.

She was drawn to the apartment’s affordable rent at $565 a month and the charm of the Volker neighborhood.

“These apartments were always desirable for everyone to get into,” Fardipour said. “Our previous landlord was a dream.”

Just this week, she found out her apartment was under new ownership, The Tiehen Group, and new property management. The Tiehen Group has been doing business in the Kansas City area for more than 30 years.

The new ownership also impacts people living at the Bakers Corner as well.

The letter to residents reads, in part: “Unfortunately, in exploring long term planning for the property, we were forced to realistically evaluate our personal long term options. … Due to the extensive renovation we are going to make to your community, it will be necessary for everyone to move out.”

There are 28 units at Muehlebach Apartments and 16 at Bakers Corner Apartments, affecting dozens of tenants over the next few months.

“This is something that has been happening all over our community,” Fardipour said. “These big real estate companies are coming and swooping up affordable housing and forcing people out to either tear them down and charge two, three to four times the amount.”

FOX4 spoke with James Tiehen, founder and CEO of The Tiehen Group, on the phone Friday. He said they don’t plan on tearing down any of these buildings but rather want to preserve the “architectural charm.” He also said they would work with tenants struggling with financial hardships.

KC Tenants wants to help those overwhelmed with the sudden news. Diane Charity with the tenants rights group said people should call their hotline for help.

“We have got our hotline that you can call them and you can talk,” she said. “They actually listen to what your particular issue is, and then they begin to give your resources.”

Tiehen said some tenants have 60 days to vacate, others have 5-6 months.

Fardipour was able to find a new home — but it will cost her double what she was paying at Muehlebach Apartments.

“Not everyone makes $75,000 a year, but people are still hard-working,” Fardipour said. “Those people still need to live somewhere, and they deserve to have safe, affordable housing.”

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