MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee’s state housing agency has pulled its financial support for the operators of Serenity Towers, which may jeopardize renovations to the troubled apartment tower.
The problems at Serenity Towers, like the non-working air and elevators, have been exposed for years by WREG. Millennia, the company in charge, has promised not just repairs, but a massive renovation.
It was supposed to include a nearly $95 million overhaul to include upgrades to every unit, a new HVAC and electrical system and a facelift outside too.
But WREG has learned, that could now be in jeopardy.
“We have notified Millennia, the company, that we are rescinding the conditional bond allocation that we awarded to them in July, that was in the amount of $23 million,” said Ralph Perrey, executive director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.
Perrey said there are certain conditions Millennia hasn’t met.
“It was simple basic business practice on our part,” Perrey said. “If we’re going to provide that amount of financial support, there are things we expect the partner to be able to do and they were not able to do that to our satisfaction.”
Bonds make financing cheaper for companies like Millennia.
Records show they applied for a total of $70 million, plus other tax incentives like a PILOT.
The same documents reveal the company said the rehabilitation wouldn’t be feasible without bond financing.
“What happens next? Well, I think that’s largely up to them. We’re out of it at this moment,” Perrey said.
A source familiar with the deal told WREG that THDA didn’t trust Millennia’s financials nor their ability to take on a project of this size.
We reached out to Millenia and the company’s Vice President, Angelica Sinito, said, “We have received notification from THDA. We are re-assessing and working on our plan internally.”
In a related story, on Thursday a judge fined the operators of Serenity Towers $6,000 in addition to the $50 a day it is paying for each unit without air conditioning. He also appointed someone to visit Serenity Towers to determine if the complex should remain open.
Millennia representatives told the judge they did not have a plan in place to make the repairs needed.