CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On August 4, our community’s attention was riveted on the former Water Color Apartment complex on Weber Road and Caravelle as a Corpus Christi Police officer had been shot on the property.
The suspect was caught the next day, but the story raised questions about the safety of residents at the complex.
The Troubleshooters reached out to Welker Properties, the company that bought the property in June, to ask them what they plan on doing to make it a better place to live.
It’s no longer Marbella or Watercolor. It’s now Caspian.
In June, Welker Properties took over ownership of this 783 unit property on the city’s southside, and according to a statement, they are investing $10 million to revitalize the place.
Darius Bouldin is hoping the issues he has in his unit are part of the revitalization. He says he moved in in April, but his A/C hasn’t worked since June.
The thermostat in his unit read 85 degrees when we were there. Bouldin claims he’s made management aware of this multiple times.
"They say 'okay, we’ll take care of it'. Take my information down. 'We’ll get somebody there. We’ll get to it', and then they get to it like 2-3 weeks later,"he told the Troubleshooters.
In the meantime he runs two fans, which runs up his electricity bill just to try to stay cool.
He has other maintenance issues needing attention as well, like no power in the electric outlets in his restroom.
Chad Edwards with Welker Properties says they inherited an enormous amount of deferred maintenance with this purchase, but insists they are being addressed daily. In fact, in a statement sent to the Troubleshooters, Welker Properties says "if a tenant has an outstanding issue that was reported to prior ownership, we ask that they come back to the leasing office and report again in writing to ensure we are aware of and address any lingering issues. Several current residents have noted this to be the case."
But what about resident safety and well-being?
According to data from the Corpus Christi Police Department, they’ve received more than 2,100 calls from the property from 2018 to August of this year. This year alone, the department has received 59 calls about suspicious activity on the property, and eight calls of shots fired.
Following the August 4 shooting incident, Welker Properties’ statement says ”tenant screening is also more stringent and inline with competition.”
Alicia Gomez is a former resident who claims she repeatedly told management about mold and A/C problems in her unit, but when maintenance didn’t fix them, even after she claims she sent them notices, she broke her lease and moved out, which she was told was within her legal right.
"If they don’t fix it at a certain time, ‘cause by law, they have to fix it," she told us. "And if they don’t do it, you can break your lease." She says Mark Gonzales at the Trade Center told her this information.
The Texas Property Code Section 92 states "(1) after sending the landlord a certified letter requesting maintenance or repairs…you…the tenant need to give 7 days for a response."
If there is no response, "(2) the tenant…should send a second certified letter of request."
If there’s still no response, "(3) the tenant could terminate the lease…repair the problem yourself and deduct the cost from your rent…or get a court order that the repairs be made."
But first, consult with an attorney.
We re-visited Darius Bouldin last week. He was glad to report that later, on the very same day the Troubleshooters visited him, October 12, maintenance crews showed up and fixed his A/C and some of the other issues he had.
We thank them for doing that, and for making this another Troubleshooters Case Closed.