Work Underway on Downtown Apartment Building

Renters at a downtown apartment building say conditions inside their building were so bad that they had to call in city inspectors.

Among the heat.

The owner, John Zapata of Lincoln, bought the Nodaway apartment building near 24th & Howard St. in December and a lot of problems along with it.

Improvements needed to take place by Monday and the owner appears to be making progress.

Jose Hernandez of Midwest Demolition and his crew are improving the Nodaway apartments one room at a time.

They've spent about two weeks working on eight vacant apartments.

They're cleaning up a mess Zapata inherited when he bought the building last month.

"We filled the holes in the wall," Hernandez said. "We scraped the walls...we cleaned the kitchen, we (are) trying to fix everything."

First on the list --- the heat. It's back on.

Hernandez said the condition of several rooms meant his crew had to wear masks due to the odor.

And while it's easy to blame the owner, some former residents played a role as well.

Sinks were clogged...

"With cat hair," Hernandez said. "Grease (was) everywhere. It was a mess. We found two dead cats."

Carpeting was removed and the floors bleached to remove the smell.

Walls are being patched.

Cabinets, back splashes and sinks were cleaned...some removed entirely.

But there's still a long way to go.

"We have to fix windows, doors, carpet...everything," Hernandez said. "Pretty much everything."

One resident said he is happy to see improvements being made. He also understand that it will all take time.

A constable from the Douglas County Sheriff's office issued several eviction notices to some residents for not paying rent.

Chief Code Inspector Kevin Denker said he's received calls from residents and contractors that work is rapidly being done to fix the problems.

Denker said inspectors may check on the progress Tuesday morning.

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