WWNY TV 7 News, WNYF FOX 28 Reported

Maple Court Managers Hope City Kicks In Renovation Money

Charlie Allen, Evergreen co-owner, and city officials

Janine Juiliani has lived at Maple Court Apartments in Watertown since 1993 and says she loves where she lives, but hates when it rains.

"I had drapes made when I found out I was getting the apartment," she said. "They were very expensive and I wasn't in here too long -- a month, month and a half -- and they were all stained."

Juiliani is not alone. The company that manages the property, Evergreen Partners, says 30 percent of its apartments have water leaks. It also wants to do work on the exterior of the complex.

And they have other plans, too. "On top of that," Evergreen co-owner Charlie Allen said, "replacing many of the kitchens, bathrooms, appliances, other flooring, other interior finishes."

Evergreen Partners says it wants to buy the affordable housing complex and renovate it. They still need about $3 million for the project. They want the state to pitch in and are also asking the city for $200,000.

To drum up support, the company took city officials on a tour of the complex Tuesday.

"We need every dollar we can get, so the dollars themselves are important," Allen said, "but it's also kind of a multiplier effect when the city makes a contribution, because the state pays attention."

Council members who took the tour say giving Evergreen Partners the money is a good idea.

"The complex has been well maintained over the last 40 years," Teresa Macaluso said, "so it's definitely a project that's worth the city working towards."

But it's not a done deal. City planners still need to put together a consolidated plan and then there needs to be a 30-day comment period before the council can take action.