New investor to purchase Brandywine Condominiums

New investor to purchase Brandywine Condominiums

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An East Baton Rouge Metro councilwoman said she has found a possible investor that could turn things around at the deplorable Brandywine Condominiums.

Not much has changed at Brandywine since 9News visited on Friday. The dumpsters are still overflowing, the grass has not been cut, and residents are cooking on outdoor grills. The people who live there have been without power for six days.

Pamela Wallace has resorted to bathing her granddaughter outside in a bucket.

"It's so hot, you got the gnats. Someone set a fire down there the other day, twice," Wallace said.

Entergy said they cut service to Brandywine because the owners owe them $60,000. Tenants' utilities are covered under their rent.

While some of them have paid up, the man who collects rent told 9News because the majority of tenants are behind, the landlord, Lazarus McDaniel, has not been able to pay the electric bill. The complex is run on one meter so everyone pays the price.

EBR councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis toured the property and spoke to some of the residents. She said because Brandywine has a number of private owners, including some tenants, there is not much the city can do.

Most of them said they are stuck because they just can't afford to live anywhere else.

"My daughter's been on the internet looking for a place to live and she said we can't find nothing less than $900 a month," Wallace said.

Councilwoman Lewis said a local attorney is in the process of buying 202 apartment units that have been seized by the city for nonpayment of taxes, but that could take some time.

"There were two sets of apartments, one hundred units and another in adjudicated process. So, I think it's in the next 30 days they will be able to close on a great majority of the units and in the next 60 days close on second half," Lewis said.

As for the current owners catching up on their overdue bills and bringing Brandywine up to code, Lewis said that would take a miracle.

"I don't know what else they are going to do. It is impossible for the meter to be placed back on. Entergy is not going to put a meter back here. It's pretty much over," Lewis said.

The councilwoman expects changes will start happening in the next three to six months.

McDaniel, the current landlord, was called for a comment, but he, again, did not return our calls.

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