(LaPorte, IN) - This time last year, there was a scramble to relocate a handful of residents from the apartments at 701 Maple Avenue in LaPorte. Christmas Eve was the deadline for vacating the condemned property. But some residents and nearly twenty animals lingered until the last minute. Some called it an eviction, others dubbed it an evacuation.
Either way, what a difference a year makes.
LaPorte Mayor Tom Dermody says, under new ownership, the transformation of the building is tremendous. "It was an amazing transition," Dermody said. "It's brand new, affordable, and most importantly, respectful living with new standards of how people behave."
The property is being rehabbed under the name Maple Commons by local developer Thomas Viere. Dermody said he is amazed by the amount of work that has been done. "New appliances, new flooring, many areas taken down to the studs and built back up," he noted. "Some walls have been knocked out to make two-bedroom units."
Dermody says the transformation of 701 Maple reflects the improvements throughout the city, as well as the teamwork it takes to make it happen. "City Council, police department, fire department, code enforcement-- if they hadn't enforced that new standard," Dermody emphasized, "we wouldn't be where we are today."
Dermody said he can't wait for people to see the improvements for themselves once the work is finished. A completion date for the new Maple Commons apartments has not been set, but Dermody says it should be in the first quarter of the upcoming year.