Neglected St. Nicholas condo complex plagued by debt

Court-appointed attorney sent in to help owners

Article Courtesy of News 4 Jax
By Erik Avanier

Published July 25, 2018

JACKSONVILLE - Faced with a mountain of unpaid debt, the neglected Preserve at St. Nicholas condo complex was given a court-appointed receiver to help the owners find ways to pay off the bill, News4Jax learned Friday.

Since Monday, the News4Jax I-TEAM has been receiving complaints from residents about the living conditions inside the complex. Dumpsters that had been overflowing with trash for weeks have since been cleaned. Some residents are still dealing with mold.

But Friday, the I-TEAM learned the complex has been flooded with debt that prevented trash from being picked up and nearly led to units having their water and electricity shut off. City inspectors found 64 code violations during a two day visit.

Patrick Kreckowski, the court-appointed receiver, said he found up to $100,000 in debt owed to service providers including JEA and Waste Management.

“We jumped on that right away and made some payment to JEA to keep the water on and recently made some payment to Waste Management to get the dumpsters emptied," Kreckowski said. "We're having to prioritize who we can pay right now because the association has very little in the account."


Dumpsters overflowing at St. Nicholas apartment, condo complex.


Kreckowski said Waste Management was recently paid nearly $9,000 and JEA close to $40,000. But there are other bills too.

Each day that News4Jax visited the property, including Friday, no employees were in the main office.

"The issue with the management onsite is that they haven’t been getting paid either," Kreckowski said. "It’s hard to blame anybody since they were not getting paid and we’re starting to do that.”

Residents have received a letter advising them not to send rent to their landlord or property manager until further notice. Payments are now made to the law firm representing the complex, which is helping pay down the debt.

Additionally, the complex is working to sell vacant units. There are 233 total units on the property that range in price from $40,000 to $59,000. As many as 26 of them have been on the market over a year.

“A lot of those units have been for sale for a few years," Kreckowski said. "One of the things we’ve done as a receiver is reach out to real estate investing companies that may be interested in purchasing some of these units in bulk.”

Anyone who buys a unit would be told upfront that at closing time, the delinquent assessments would be paid out.

Krechowski said receivership is a difficult task, and in this case, it was warranted.

“I know people are frustrated with the condition of the property," Krechowski said. "As a receiver, I’m doing everything I can to get my hands on what’s going on and collecting assessments."