Local buyer gets Heflin apartment complex at auction
July 20, 2017
By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

Woodland View Apartment Complex resident Patricia Houston raised her fists in joy Thursday as she listened to an auctioneer say, “$178,500 once, $178,500 twice … Sold!”

Houston was overjoyed that a local investor, Robby Brown, had just purchased both sections of the apartment complex that had been up for public action during foreclosure proceedings on the steps of the Cleburne County Courthouse on Thursday morning.

Houston, who receives U.S. Department of Agriculture rental assistance, was unsure of her fate before the auction.

After the auction the longtime resident said she could finally relax.

“I feel like he’ll let us stay because he’s a nice kind of person, he’s got a kind heart, he told me I did not have anything to worry about,” Houston said.

Heflin resident Brown bought both sections of the apartments for a total of $429,500. Two separate auctions were held to handle each section, which had been built at different times.

Brown said he was happy to purchase the apartment complex that opened in 1982 and has big plans for it.

“Total remodel, total remodel, we’re going to get it up to speed, we are going to totally renovate and make it nice for the community,” Brown said.

Brown, who owns other rental properties in Heflin, plans to start very soon on the renovations. Some questions about the USDA rent-assisted tenants remain. Before the auction, Andrew Wackerle, area director for USDA rural development, said as soon as the property is sold the contract that the USDA has with the complex will terminate. That means no new tenants will get assistance from the USDA.

“Who ever gets it is going to be the new owner, however Rural Development has taken note of who is living there today, if they are there today they are eligible for vouchers through Rural Development,” Wackerle said. A voucher supplements the difference between the tenants’ previous rent and the rent at a new private residence.

 Wackerle also served as the auctioneer for the auction and said the complex will be sold “as-is, where-is.”

Tax records state the owners as Woodland View Apartments LTD for one section and Cleburne County Associates LTD for another section.

Asked about the tenants who are on USDA rental assistance Brown said, “I can’t answer that at this time because we don’t have all that information yet. We got to look at the that before we make a decision; that will be something we will sit down and make a decision on.”

Brown was ready to get all hands on deck to improve the complex after the auction.

“We are going to make it so someone is proud to live there, their children are able to play, safe environment, a nice area. It’s going to be a total re-do including a name change,” Brown said.