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State Attorney's Office is 'reviewing' the situation at beleaguered Overtown co-op

A chain link fence with "Danger" signs stands in front of a newly painted apartment building.
Daniel Rivero
One of the recently renovated buildings at Town Park Village. The Community Redevelopment Agency for Overtown has so far spent more than $14 million on the rehabilitation of the apartment complex.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is reviewing a 50-year-old co-op in Miami's Overtown neighborhood, following WLRN's reporting on a conflict between its residents and leadership board.

The SAO confirmed to WLRN that its Economic Crimes Division is looking into Town Park Village, a co-op populated by mostly Black and low-income residents.

Last month, WLRN reported that the co-op, which was built in the 1970s, is in a serious state of disrepair, and the residents feel at odds with the board that makes decisions for the complex.

READ MORE: Overtown residents got a shot at homeownership 50 years ago. Now it's falling apart

The board put the 147-unit complex up for sale last November without first notifying the residents, who own shares in the property. Town Park Village was up for sale for $38 million before the listing was taken down on May 2. The property also received an $18 million grant from the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency to renovate two thirds of the units, but almost all of that money has been spent on repairs for only a fraction of the projected units.

The co-op is located in Overtown, where gentrification and rising rents threaten to displace residents in what was once a thriving Black community that was torn apart by the construction of Interstate 95.

A spokesperson for the State Attorney's Office said their investigators are interviewing people about what’s happening at the co-op and reviewing documents to find out more, following WLRN’s initial reporting.

Bernice Slater, whose mother, Lillian, has been a longtime resident and leader at Town Park Village, said she’s grateful that authorities have started taking an interest in the co-op.

“Oh Jesus, thank you,” Slater told WLRN. “They haven’t called me yet but I’ve been waiting to hear from them.”

The Economic Crimes Division investigates public assistance fraud, elder abuse and a variety of crimes related to condominium management, according to the State Attorney's Office website.

An attorney for Town Park Village’s board did not respond to WLRN’s request for comment.

Joshua Ceballos is WLRN's Local Government Accountability Reporter and a member of the investigations team. Reach Joshua Ceballos at jceballos@wlrnnews.org
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