Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst announced July 14 he was able to negotiate with the developer a lease extension for the Park Villa apartment complex residents who were supposed to be out by the end of the month. The complex is to be demolished to make way for a townhome development.

At front, Atlanta Legal Aid Society attorneys Lindsey Siegel, left, and Mara Block, answer questions from Park Villa residents. (Dyana Bagby)

Residents in the aging complex off North Cliff Valley will have an extra 21 days to move out, according to a city press release. Rather than having to move out by July 31 the residents now have until Aug. 21 to find a new home. Many residents gathered at Briarwood Park this week with Atlanta Legal Aid Society attorneys and other community organizations to ask for assistance after finding out at the end of June they had one month to move out.

Ernst said in the press release he talked with management of the new developer, and current landlord, “to better understand the facts and negotiate a lease extension for the remaining residents at Park Villa Apartments, 2095 Burton Plaza Lane, NE, who expressed that they needed additional time to relocate.”

“This real estate transaction was between two private parties and technically does not involve the city of Brookhaven at this time,” Ernst said in a statement.  “Having said that, I was concerned about the potential impact on certain tenants and brought my concerns to the developer. Based on our discussion, I was pleased to learn that they shared the same concerns and have agreed to extend the lease deadline an additional 21 days for those who need more time to find suitable housing. There was no legal obligation on their part, per the term of the existing leases, but they chose to cooperate as good community partners.”

Pearl Wilkerson, who lives on a fixed income, pays $800 a month at the Park Villa apartments in Brookhaven where she has lived for 30 years. She said she was shocked when she learned last month she had 30 days to leave. (Dyana Bagby)

Michelle Campbell, president of Atlanta’s division of Taylor Morrison, the developer, thanked the city for working with them to give residents more time to move out.

“We thank the city of Brookhaven for working with us to find ways to help the Park Villa community, and we’re glad to offer some solutions that will help with this transitional period,” she said in a prepared statement.

Taylor Morrison will provide transitioning Park Villa residents with a 50 percent rebate of one month’s rent through the extension, as residents find alternative housing accommodations, according to the city press release.

Residents who have already paid rent and moved will receive 50 percent of their last month’s rent. For those residents who need the extended time to relocate, they will owe 75 percent of their monthly rent for those three weeks, but will also receive a 50 percent rebate. Residents who need additional information regarding lease terms can contact Taylor Morrison at 770-741-0226.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.