Dayton apartment building facade collapses

Hundreds of bricks and large pieces of cornice fell off an apartment building in northwest Dayton on Monday, which a couple of residents said was caused either by gusts of wind or water getting into the walls.

On Tuesday morning, a two-man crew was working outside the apartment building at 1124 Salem Ave. to salvage large pieces of stone from the rubble and clean up the site.

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The eight-unit apartment building was constructed in 1927.

Multiple residents contacted by this newspaper declined to speak on the record. No one was injured, but basement windows were shattered and wires and TV satellite dishes were damaged.

Inspectors with the city of Dayton’s housing and building departments visited the property on Tuesday and concluded the building seems structurally sound because the collapse occurred to a brick facade, said Todd Kinskey, Dayton’s director of planning and community development.

“It is not clear what caused the damage but it could have been weather related,” Kinskey said. “At present, it does not appear that residents need to vacate the premises.”

The city expects the owner will drape tarps over the building to prevent any further damage.

The owner will need to get a registered architect to help evaluate the damage and submit drawings for a permit and repairs, Kinskey said.

This newspaper called a phone number associated with the property owner, but the man who answered declined to comment.

The apartment building was purchased in May 2018 for nearly $149,000 by a company called Moonstone Investments LLC, according to Montgomery County Auditor real estate records.

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Since August of last year, Moonstone Investments and a company called BWB Properties LLC have filed multiple eviction cases against tenants who live in the building.

The building made the news late last year when a couple who lived there, Stacey Williams and James Clark, criticized the landlord because they say their heat had been out for more than a month.

“My clients complained that the landlord was not making needed repairs to the property,” said Debra Lavey, senior attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, who helped represent Clark and Williams in the eviction case.

In December, Clark and Williams told WHIO-TV that their unit on the first floor of the apartment building had been without heat for more than a month.

The couple said their landlord gave them a couple of space heaters, but they were inadequate.

Clark and Williams were issued an eviction notice in December, which they claim was in retaliation for raising a fuss about the “unacceptable” living conditions. A representative of the owner said they were evicted for nonpayment of rent.

Clark and Williams did not have heat and their bathroom ceiling fell in, said Lavey, the attorney with ABLE.

Clark and Williams reached a settlement with Moonstone and agreed to vacate their unit voluntarily at the end of January.

Lavey also represented another tenant, Anthony Gandy, who lived in the building who was being evicted.

A settlement was reached in that case in which Moonstone agreed to repair a hole in a bathroom wall and replace a front door that did not stay shut, even when locked, according to the agreed entry of settlement filed in Dayton Municipal Court.

Moonstone also agreed to repair a door with broken glass panes that did not keep the cold air out and repair or replace a smelly refrigerator, the settlement states.

Gandy was eventually forced to move for nonpayment of rent.

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