More than 150 U-City residents still displaced after building condemnation

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Friday will mark two weeks since more than 150 senior citizens and residents with disabilities were moved from their University City apartment complex.

On January 14, a water main burst and flooded parts of Parkview Place apartments in the 700 block of Westgate.

At the break, the University Town Police Department said 162 residents had been evacuated due to extensive water damage.

Many residents were able to stay with their families, but about 50 of them were taken to a nearby community center while the resort worked out where to send residents to shelter for the night.

Residents said they salvaged what they could from their apartment before being evacuated. Around 9 p.m. that evening, they were taken to different hotels. It was also the night of some of the coldest winter weather of the season and before inches of snow were expected.

It is unclear how many of the 162 residents are in hotels and how many are still with families. Two residents Fox 2 spoke to on Wednesday, 12 days after the water main burst, said they stayed with family the first night but were able to secure a hotel provided by the resort the next day and that they had been in hotels ever since.

Robinson said they stayed at a hotel in the Clayton area where all three meals were served daily for about a week, then moved to a hotel more than 8 miles from their apartment complex . Some residents said it cost them more because they used to be able to walk to work, but now have to pay for public transit.

“I had to go up and buy more cough medicine today and some other clothes,” Bell said.

In addition to transportation costs, some residents said they now have to buy more food and clothing.

“I have diabetes and need food so I get my stuff at the end of the month and it lasts me a month, now I have to fend for myself,” said Christopher Robinson.

There is now a bright orange sign outside the building, indicating that the building is condemned. The notice of conviction reads: “The Building Commissioner hereby directs you to take corrective action to bring these premises into code compliance.”

A text message shared by a resident updates the resort has sent. Last Thursday, six days after the initial water main burst, the resort sent a message to residents saying they would get rid of everything that had been in their fridges and freezers since the power outage.

“They say they’re doing their best,” said Parkview Place Apartment resident Edward Bell. The text update on Wednesday said “power has been restored and we continue to work to bring other life safety systems back online.”

“What I want them to do is right the wrong they rightly did to us,” Bell said.

“I wish I knew a good lawyer to take my case because it’s nonsense,” Robinson said.

Residents said they had no estimated time to return home.

The property manager said “no comment” when contacted by Fox 2 on Wednesday. Property management is headquartered in Jefferson City, no one in that office was available for comment Wednesday either.

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