Management Team Of Sherman Hills Speaks Out

Published 08/16 2014 05:22PM

Updated 08/16 2014 06:42PM

Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - On Saturday members of the media were given a rare look inside the Sherman Hills apartment complex.

Members of the management team said they've made a number of improvements, but added that a lot of work still need to be done.

"If the system works the way we want it to there's going to be well over 100 cameras throughout the whole property," John Van Meter, the Director of Property Management at the Aspen Companies, said.

Van Metre said they have big plans for the Sherman Hills apartment complex over the next 15 years.

Earlier this year Treetop Development, a related company of Aspen, bought the troubled Wilkes-Barre housing apartment complex.

Van Metre said when they purchased the complex a lot of problems came with it.

"There was literally sheets, blankets," he said. "It looked like a project. We've spent quite a bit of money on blinds."

On Saturday morning Van Metre gave a tour to members of the Sherman Hills Task Force. The task force is a group that was created to make the complex safer, after a rash of violent crimes.

While former owners tossed around the idea of armed guards at the property, Van Metre said  because of federal budget restrictions that's not going to work.
"We will spend a lot of money on capital expenditures (such as) camera systems," he said. "Because that's a one-time cost. Security is an ongoing cost every single month, every single year."

Van Metre said the improvements at the complex are going to take time.   

Representative Matt Cartwright, who organized the task force, adds the changes won't be easy.

"I like the attitude that new ownership is showing, Cartwright, D-Moosic, said. "We will continue to work with them."

Leaders met with residents of the complex as part of Saturday's walk through.

People who live at Sherman Hills told Eyewitness News they haven't seen any changes, and will use a wait and see approach to what changes will be made.

"It may not all be to our liking," Arthur Nolan, who lives at Sherman Hills, said.

There is another meeting scheduled for Monday between members of the task force and management at Sherman Hills.

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