Paducah apartment complex that closed flourishing again under new ownership

PADUCAH — An apartment complex in Paducah that closed because of a roach and bedbug infestation is back open under new ownership — and with some big changes.

Local 6 first reported a year ago that Falconite Development Group announced it was closing Southgate Manor at 610 Caldwell St. The company said in a statement it “tried to resolve the bug issues, (but) many of the residents refused to comply with the exterminators requirements for treatment.”

Falconite said it gave most of the tenants 30 days to move and worked with residents under lease agreements to move into other complexes.

In June, B Squared Equity LLC — based in Salem, Kentucky — bought the property. The business is made up of Ben Thompson, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Crittenden County Middle School, and Ben Grainger, the district technology coordinator for Crittenden County Schools. They renamed the apartment complex Upper Town Townhouses and Flats.

“It was imperative for us that if we’re going to buy this place, that we give it to people who are hard-working people who don’t have a lot of money. We’re talking people who have two or three jobs,” said Thompson. “When we purchased the place, there was only one tenant remaining, and she moved out after a couple of weeks when she found a new place to live. And so, for about the first five months that we owned the place, we were cleaning it up, taking care of the previous problems.”

This gallery shows images of the apartments before and improvements that have been made after.

After the cleanup, Thompson and Grainger worked on renovating the interiors of the apartment units themselves. The two men have redone a dozen one-bedroom units so far — adding new paint to the walls and cabinets and installing new air and heat systems, new toilets, new water heaters, new smoke detectors, new outlets and more. The duo’s friends and parents also helped them with the renovation.

“Both of our fathers helped us out a great deal,” said Thompson. “My dad came here, and he came down from Indianapolis, and he would stay in one of the apartments, and he would get up at the crack of dawn and work all day, and take the cabinet doors off and he would sand them down.”

Thompson said they also hired contractors to improve the exterior of the apartment complex. So far, the contractors have added new gutters and new siding to some of the buildings. Thompson said they hope to eventually install additional lighting outside and repave the parking lot.

Thompson said out of the 12 apartment units they have renovated themselves, 11 now have tenants. He said they’ll have five more units ready to go in about a month. After they finish renovating 30 one-bedroom units, they’ll start working on the town homes.

Two of the residents at the apartment complex are Marty Martin and Ethan Wimer. They said they heard about the apartment complex closing down last year, but are glad that it’s starting to flourish again.

“Second chances prosper,” said Wimer.

“Yeah, everything deserves a second chance,” Martin agreed.

The rent for the one-bedroom units are between $460 to $480 a month. Thompson said once they finish working on the town homes, the rent for the two-bedrooms will probably be below $600 and the rent for the three-bedrooms will probably be below $700. They are still working on figuring out the numbers.

Thompson said when there is a unit available, they will post it on Facebook classifieds and on Paducah’s FOR RENT Classifieds.

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