Frankfort senior apartments: Some tenants have township ties
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com April 27, 2012 7:52PM
Frankfort Township's Lighthouse Pointe senior housing complex. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:24PM
FRANKFORT — About two months after it opened, Frankfort Township’s newest senior apartment complex is 100 percent occupied.
Some of the tenants of the Lighthouse Pointe complex have familiar names. Records show that some township employees or their families have benefited from the project as tenants or as real estate agents, starting with the acquisition of the property last year.
None is accused of wrongdoing, and officials say other brokers were solicited and the final tenants were found only after waiting lists were gone through.
According to Lighthouse Pointe sale documents obtained by the SouthtownStar, a $30,000 broker fee was paid to Laura Potter-Ho, with McColly Real Estate. She is the wife of David Ho, a full-time employee in the township assessor’s office. A $31,500 broker fee also was paid to Draper and Kramer, a property and financial services company, and $13,500 was paid to Coldwell Banker.
Ho said he was “floored” that someone would question his wife’s involvement in the transaction. She has been in real estate for six years and knows the area, he said.
“A lot of Realtors don’t want to deal with government purchases,” he said.
Frankfort Township Supervisor Jim Moustis called others to do the work, but they did not call back, Ho said. He then reached out to his wife to do the research and the comparables, he said.
“This was a one-time thing,” he said.
The tenants for the new 12-unit building at Colorado Avenue and Pfieffer Road were either tenants in the township’s Autumn Valley apartments or came from either a waiting list or new applicants, Moustis said.
The new tenants include Cindy and Hugh Stipan, a longtime township employee; Joseph Kral Sr., the father of township assessor Joe Kral; and Henry and Cecily Meers, who’s former township employee.
The township first offered the new two-bedroom apartments to Autumn Valley residents — only one wanted to move. Three other new tenants came off an existing waiting list. Moustis said most on the waiting list own homes and have been unable to sell them.
“We typically go through 15 names on that list before we find one tenant,” he said.
After that, the township sought new applicants for the Lighthouse Pointe units.
“It was first-come, first-served,” Moustis said.
Stipan, Kral and Meers all are longtime township residents.
The township acquired the unfinished condo building, an unfinished clubhouse and six acres in the Lighthouse Pointe subdivision last summer for $1.5 million.
The property, initially developed by William McEnery, was in foreclosure and could have been “an eyesore for the community,” Moustis said.
The township bought the seven lots from HomeStar Bank and Fifth Third Bank.
“We’ve been saving up for this. We didn’t have to go into debt,” Moustis said.
There’s room to build about 156 more units, but not for awhile, Moustis said, despite there still being a waiting list of about 100 residents. Most on that list prefer one-bedroom units, and that is likely what the township will build after it saves up the money, he said.
It will first complete the clubhouse/community room on the new site and open it to the public, possibly in 2013, Moustis said.
Lighthouse Pointe offers two-bedroom units with a garage and rents between $1,250 and $1,350 per month. Autumn Valley, just east of Wolf Road on U.S. 30, has 24 one-bedroom units with a garage with monthly rent about $618 and usually has 100 percent occupancy, Moustis said.
Rental income — not tax dollars — are used to operate and maintain the buildings, officials said.