Omni’s Garden Spires residents allege leaks, mice infestations

Newark mixed-income complex recently underwent $58M renovation

Tri-State /
Oct.October 19, 2021 01:41 PM

Maurice “Mo” Vaughn (co-founder and managing director, Omni New York) (iStock, onyllc.com)

Squeaky clean it ain’t.

Water leaks, mold and mice infestations are among the problems residents at Omni America’s Garden Spires apartment complex in Newark allege plague their units despite a recent $58 million renovation.

The complex, which consists of two 20-story story towers and 550 units, is the subject of a petition from the Garden Spires Tenant Association, according to NJ.com. The petition demanding a fix for mold, leaks, mice and holes in the walls has reportedly been signed by at least 187 people.

(realtor.com)

Omni America, a real estate development and management firm co-founded by former Major League Baseball player Mo Vaughn, purchased the complex from First King Properties in 2018 for $45.3 million.

City officials claim Omni spent $172 million to renovate Garden Spires and another nearby complex before completing work last March. An Omni spokesperson told NJ.com that the Garden Spires work cost $57.8 million, but five residents told the outlet the renovations didn’t exceed “patchwork.”

The spokesperson said an unforeseen plumbing issue detected last month forced the replacement of the entire plumbing line and led to water being cut off during business hours in residents’ kitchens.

However, plumbing may not be the only issue. Last month, code enforcement officers reportedly found roach and mice infestations, bathroom leaks, overloaded dumpsters and defective stoves, in addition to issues with entry doors for the two buildings and water leakage in several units.

Meanwhile, the building keeps passing inspections. In September, HUD scored the building 96 out of 100 during an inspection. Meanwhile, the Department of Community Affairs claims to have received no complaints since Omni took ownership — it still lists 406 open violations, according to NJ.com, though more than 20 percent are due to lack of unit access.

Prior to Omni’s ownership, First King ran into multiple problems at the building. In 2017, Mayor Ras Baraka filed a lawsuit against First King and HUD over what he alleged were inhabitable conditions in both of the complex’s towers.

The recent allegations from tenants is not the first time Vaughn has faced scrutiny for the way his company treats and deals with residents. In 2017, the former slugger was accused by New York City’s Human Rights Commission of discriminating against tenants on federal assistance programs, including Section 8 vouchers.

[NJ.com] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    From left: Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Executive, and Laura Curran, former Nassau County Executive (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Nassau County freezes assessments after home-price surge
    Nassau County freezes assessments after home-price surge
    Kamson founder Richard Kurtz and 1 Frick Drive (Sotheby's International Realty)
    “We’re done”: Seller comes to grips with NJ mansion saga
    “We’re done”: Seller comes to grips with NJ mansion saga
    Michael Fulfree and Bianca D’Alessio of Nest Seekers International (Nest Seekers)
    They can sell the Hamptons. But can they sell “Selling the Hamptons”?
    They can sell the Hamptons. But can they sell “Selling the Hamptons”?
    Fairfield County (iStock)
    Fairfield County home listings fall to record lows
    Fairfield County home listings fall to record lows
    Eviction problems hit NJ, NY after moratoriums lift
    Eviction problems hit NJ, NY after moratoriums lift
    Eviction problems hit NJ, NY after moratoriums lift
    Ulster County, NY (iStock)
    Ulster County home prices spiked 20 percent last year
    Ulster County home prices spiked 20 percent last year
    Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis (City of Bayonne, NJ, Google Maps)
    Bayonne to weigh 2 redevelopment proposals
    Bayonne to weigh 2 redevelopment proposals
    East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and 395 Pantigo Road in East Hampton (EHamptonNY.gov, Zillow, iStock)
    East Hampton Town officials vow affordable housing action
    East Hampton Town officials vow affordable housing action
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...