Owner of Kenwood apartments goes AWOL amid foreclosure case

Freddie Mac sued Apex Chicago IL for failing to address substandard living conditions 

Kenwood Apartment Owner Goes AWOL Amid Foreclosure
The Ellis Lakeview Apartments (Getty, LoopNet)

The owner of an affordable apartment complex in Kenwood continues to dodge court orders amid an ongoing legal battle stemming from allegations of wretched living conditions. 

After nearly four years of pushing Apex Chicago IL to address substandard conditions, residents of the Ellis Lakeview Apartments, at 4624 South Ellis Avenue, notched a major win in January, when a Cook County judge ordered Apex to relinquish management control to real estate firm Trigild IVL. The ruling came several months after lending giant Freddie Mac sued Apex and pursued foreclosure in response to residents’ concerns. 

Despite the stack of legal challenges, Apex has gone AWOL, repeatedly failing to appear in court, including a separate buildings court case on Wednesday, Block Club reported.

Barry Drillman, who has said that he is Apex’s manager, pleaded guilty in December to a $165 million mortgage fraud conspiracy and faces up to five years in prison.

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Apex’s attorneys withdrew from the Kenwood case following Trigild’s appointment as receiver, leaving the landlord unrepresented in court. Freddie Mac, frustrated by the lack of cooperation, is now poised to seek a final foreclosure ruling, with no indication of engagement from Apex.

Ephraim Diamond, an Apex executive, had expressed a willingness to facilitate the transfer of ownership to Freddie Mac during a February foreclosure hearing. However, since then, Apex has been notably absent.

Meanwhile, under Trigild’s stewardship, repairs are underway at Ellis Lakeview. Notwithstanding the challenges surrounding the property, progress has been made in bringing the building up to code, offering a glimmer of hope to long-suffering residents. 

“I think we can all agree a lot has been done and continues to get done,” Trigild attorney Cara Houck told the outlet. “We’ve already done the updating of the elevators and got that approved. This week, we’re going to get approval for security cameras. The receiver is doing everything it can possibly do as quickly and swiftly as possible.”

Freddie Mac holds the $11 million mortgage on the 11-story, 105-unit property and says the loan agreement is being breached because units have been kept in disrepair, with issues stemming from plumbing problems to pest control.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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