IN YOUR CORNER: City-funded project delays puts tenants in a bind

In Your Corner

MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – Families had hoped for luxury, affordable living in the metro. But as deposits have poured in for months, prospective tenants have been stuck wondering when, or if the Moore apartment complex will ever open.

Some say The Curve apartments have been cursed.

“It’s a money pit,” said Shelly Jordan. “People have been trying to talk to them, get in since last January.”

Shelly though was initially charmed by the place after taking a tour earlier this year.

She opted to put down a deposit and pay an application fee, waiting on word for when her room would open.

Tara Jones had a similar story months earlier.

“I’ve got 4 kiddos, ranging from ages 3 to 17,” she explained. “I put my down payment, first month’s rent, I’ve looked everywhere.”

Tara tells News 4 she was set to move in mid-March.

But after putting notice in at her previous living location, she learned her place at The Curve needed more time.

“I was told it was not ready. We were already out of another home,” Tara said. “I was like ok, we’ll just stay in a hotel.”

Tara says a red hot rental market and poor credit made finding another home difficult.

She adds, continuous promises from Curve management didn’t help.

“[The Curve said] Just stick with us, we appreciate you, we thank you, we’ve got this,” Tara explained. “I was told a couple days, then told a couple weeks, then a month.”

Shelly Jordan experienced the same delays months later.

She opted instead to stay in her current apartment, requesting a refund from The Curve.

But there was a problem.

“[The Curve] called, said they got a letter from corporate, we are not able to give you a deposit back, because your deposit is lost,” Shelly said.

According to Shelly, Tara, other complaints to In Your Corner, and online reviews, problems have plagued the complex for nearly a year.

Tenants claim a number of possible opening dates have fallen through, dating back as far as last winter.

But this isn’t just any complex. The plan originally came from the City of Moore, as one of the final projects funded through federal disaster relief following 2013’s deadly tornado.

The city selected Arkansas based Belmont Management to run the complex, providing nearly $16-million for the estimated $50-million deal.

The original projected opening date was December, 2020.

City officials directed most of our questions to Belmont Management, but did provide a statement:

“Unfortunately, there have been significant delays with construction, prompting move-in dates to change. The City understands the frustration and difficulties this places on potential tenants. Construction during the pandemic has its own share of difficulties.”

Brooks Mitchell, City Manager

News 4 spoke with Belmont as well.

Principal of Belmont Development blamed COVID supply chain issues, city permitting problems, and turnover with their general contractor.

“We had some material shortages, had trouble getting appliances, other types of materials,” said Derrick Hamilton with Belmont Development. “A stop work order by the city for some framing inspections they wanted corrected.”

When asked why the complex would accept deposits and applications for months, when it would seem the apartment was nowhere close to opening, we were told staff keeps in contact with tenants on possible opening dates.

“The site staff is instructed to communicate with them, it’s a new construction project, and these are anticipated dates, and they place a refundable deposit down,” said Rhonda Nicholson, President of Belmont Management.

Since our interview, Belmont tells our team Shelly has received her refund.

Tara though, between hotel stays and a deposit on her current living situation, says she’s out thousands.

“Put us way more into debt than I ever thought it would,” she said.

Belmont officials though anticipate the first Curve buildings will open in December, and hope folks seeking housing in Moore will stay patient.

“This is an affordable housing project,” said Derrick. “By far the nicest affordable housing project in the state.”

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