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Mineral Daily News-Tribune - Keyser, WV
  • Keyser House may be in for multi-million-dollar upgrade

  • KEYSER – Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower reported this week that negotiations are ongoing over the future of the Keyser House low-income apartment building, and that he is hopeful the facility will see a multi-million-dollar renovation in the near future.
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  • By Richard Kerns
    rkerns@newstribune.info
    Tribune Staff Writer
    KEYSER – Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower reported this week that negotiations are ongoing over the future of the Keyser House low-income apartment building, and that he is hopeful the facility will see a multi-million-dollar renovation in the near future.
    The city of Keyser last year was named as a party in a lawsuit over the failure of the original developer to maintain payments on the 44-unit apartment building at the corner of East Piedmont and North Main streets. The city owns the lots on which the building was constructed, but otherwise has a limited role in the apartments, which are overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
    City officials have said the city's legal exposure in the matter is limited, and that legal costs have been covered by insurance.
    While little has been reported publicly since the city was named in the lawsuit last fall, Amtower said at this week's City Council meeting that negotiations are continuing and he is hopeful that a brighter future awaits the facility.
    "There's a lot going on behind the scenes," he said.
    According to the mayor, the facility may be sold to an Ohio-based group that is experienced in turning around HUD properties. If the sale goes through, Keyser House could see a $2-$3 million renovation.
    Currently about one-fourth of the 44 units are vacant, which would allow the renovation to proceed one floor at a time, without forcing tenants to relocate from the facility.
    In the near-term, the mayor said, a new management team is already in place and hopes to greatly improve on a recent poor HUD inspection score which, if left unaddressed, could imperil the planned renovation.

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