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St. Regis Apartments closing, putting residents in tough spot

Ryan Juntti
Updated: October 21, 2020 11:00 PM

Ten families are being forced to move from their Downtown Duluth apartments because of a lack of heat.

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Residents in the St. Regis Apartments received a letter Wednesday morning informing them they are going to have to leave by next Friday. This is because of a broken heat system that needs to be fixed.

Some residents say they wish they would have more time before leaving.

"I just came home, and got the mail, and I was like, 'I got like eight and a half nine days to go?' " said Damien Perry, a tenant at St. Regis Apartments.

It was a shocking realization for Perry and other residents who now need to figure out their next move.

"A lot of us not working, and things like that so it's kind of hard for us to react to certain issues, especially when you got a week's notice," said Perry.

The letter sent to the residents informed them the building's heat system broke back on October 16, and the owner doesn't have money to fix it immediately.

Tenants are now heating their apartments with ovens and space heaters.

"It is a issue when you have to keep your oven on to stay warm," said Perry.

Without heat, the building now has to be closed, forcing residents to move out.

In an emailed statement to WDIO News, owner Eric Ringsred said this all came about because of "an unfortunate set of circumstances." He says among them were finding out only last week that the City of Duluth loan program he'd been hoping to use for the repairs is out of money.

"It's unfortunate that this had to happen, but I can understand where landlords today are put in a position to have to deal with situations like this," said David, a tenant at St. Regis Apartments.

With winter around the corner, that is only making a bad situation worse.

"A lot of people are going to be in big trouble soon because there's quite a few families that are living here, and I don't think they're going to be able to find a place in eight days," said Calvin Olson, a tenant at St. Regis Apartments.

The hope is to reopen the building once the repairs are complete, but until then, residents are going to need to figure out where to go.

"We're just hoping for the best that we'll be able to find a place to lease," David said. 

The building's general manager Sandy Pavelka says tenants can make arrangements to leave their belongings, and pick them up at a later time.

She says they have also reached out to the state and Attorney General's office to help assist affected residents.

David's son set up a GoFundMe page to help him with moving, storage, security deposit and rent.   

Credits

Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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