Saline May Take Thorncrest Estates to Court


The Thorncrest Apartments were vacated for months after a roof collapse in 2020.

The City of Saline may seek a nuisance abatement against Thorncrest Estates, the apartment complex on Clark Street.

Thorncrest is the same apartment complex that left several people without a place to live after a roof collapse and several delays in fixing the issue in 2020.

At Wednesday's planning commission meeting, Community Development Director Ben Harrington said the city intends to go to circuit court to bring the apartment complex up to basic standards.

Since the city's rental inspection policy was approved, in part due to the situation at Thorncrest, zero of the 120 units have been deemed as meeting the minimum standards of the International Property Maintenance Code.

Over the winter, Harrington said, several tenants complained about a lack of heat.

"We had to respond quickly to (the tenants) because the boilers were not working," Harrington said.

The first round of inspections was conducted in December. In the summer, Harrington said, the city discovered foundational issues.

"Water was pouring into the basement," Harrington said.

Harrington said the goal is not to condemn or declare the apartments unsafe.

"The goal is to have a process for the people there that has someone collecting rent and using rent to reinvest in the property to bring them to minimum standards," Harrington said. "Compliance is the overall goal."

Harrington said the City of Milan, which has an apartment complex with the same issues and ownership, may join the court action.

The city is also working to resolve another issue - the unfinished car wash at 121 Sage Court. Over the years, there have been proposals to finish developing the property. The most recent proposal included a marijuana dispensary and other commercial space.

The owners, Belleville-based Rosebud Properties LLC, paid nearly $25,000 in property taxes in 2023.

Harrington said the city sought to act on the property last year. The city was unable to hire a Dangerous Building Officer, needed to work through the Dangerous Building Ordinance process. That process is meant to compel the owner to bring the building up to standards or could result in the condemnation of the building.

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