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Southfield Apartment Residents Say Elevators Need Repairs, No Air In Hot Weather

(CBS DETROIT) – Tenants at the Sapphire Apartments in Southfield say they were excited to move in because they thought they were moving in luxury units in the center of Metro Detroit.

But they say the conditions are far from plush.

"It's like living in purgatory. I have had no hot water, I have two bathrooms with no hot water," said resident Pamela Jackson.

"We can't shower and bathe."

CW50 aired resident complaints last fall and in February. They claim there's no heat in the winter and no central air in the summer.

And it gets worse.

Jackson says she's complained about the elevators for months.

The retired senior says she and her husband have mobility issues and are often left stuck in their apartment because they say the elevators are not dependable.

"I have no feeling in my feet. I can't walk so if something catastrophic happens, a fire or anything else, I'm stuck because I can't," Jackson said.

"There's no way for me to get out."

Anndria Gonzales says grocery shopping and doing laundry is a hassle because oftentimes she has to carry her load up 15 flights.

"It's miserable, I can't even plan a day to go to the laundromat because I don't know if I'll be able to get my laundry upstairs to the 15th floor," Gonzales said.

"I can't get groceries, can't get a delivery for groceries because who's going to expect someone to walk up 15 flights."

Since our last report in February, the property is now under new management with M2 Property Group as of May.

We were not able to reach the building's proprietor, LL Sapphire Owner LP, for comment.

Residents say the Sapphire was previously overseen by Ressco Property Management.

Ressco released a statement to CW50 on Monday stating the company never owned the Sapphire and only provided management services.

Read the company's full statement below:

"RESSCO served as the property manager for The Sapphire apartments and was NOT the owner. The Sapphire is a very old building that requires significant capital investment. Furthermore, the owner of the building (not RESSCO) made the decision to sell the building (as is) to a buyer that was willing to make the needed capital investment.

"RESSCO performed its duties as property manager to the best of its ability under the circumstances. Any claims that tenant ledgers are incorrect are false. Additionally, the buildings always had working elevators and all maintenance issues were addressed as soon as parts or vendors were available to perform the work.  

"We wish residents and the new owner well in the future."

M2 Management says they're setting up appointments with residents and are committed to making the Sapphire a great place to live.

A statement from the company reads:

"M2 Property Group is the managing agent for the Partnership that recently purchased the building.  We have a variety of professionals assessing the issues at The Sapphire, including but not limited to, the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, domestic hot water, elevators, and parking garage.  We have scheduled a deep clean of all common areas, are in process of repairing a sewer leak that was present for quite some time prior to the purchase, and are preparing the building to have the cooling system turned on for the season. 

"We are walking every apartment home, occupied and vacant, and setting appointments with any resident that wishes to speak to us so that we have all the information necessary to make The Sapphire a great place to live again.  We immediately implemented courtesy patrol 7 days per week to deter potential crime and give the residents some peace of mind. 

"The new Ownership is investing millions into the property in the near future.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to fix overnight what has taken many years to deteriorate. The restoration of the building and systems will be multi-dimensional, require a lot of research, and with contractor shortages and supply chain issues, we're not yet able to determine the time-frame for completion."

Tenants can make complaints with the Southfield Housing Commission for an inspection.

The form can be downloaded from the city's building department website and should be returned with a $50 fee.

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