GCU purchase of apartment complex means tenants have to move

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Tenants living at an apartment complex near 29th Avenue and Camelback Road were notified that their complex was under new ownership and their leases would not be renewed.

Grand Canyon University finalized the purchase of Colter Meadows on Wednesday.

About 15 to 20 tenants with 30-day leases were notified last week that those leases would not be renewed and that they would have to move out by the end of June.

"They said 30 days but we're trying to see if we can at least get another 30 just so we can get a house thing situated," Amy Robredo said.

Her family has been living at Colter Meadows for the last three years.

She told 3TV while it is a pain to move, she did see this coming.

"We're just like, oh, they're just going to keep buying and like getting rid of things," said Robredo.

GCU plans to renovate the property and turn it into student housing in an effort to keep up with increasing enrollment.

The university did not have a timeline for when that work would begin.

"It kind of scares you. You want to pay your rent, but then you're kind of scared to pay your rent 'cause are they going to make me leave after I pay my rent?" said Jasmine Cheyanne.

She lives at Colter Meadows with her six kids and said she was actually planning to renew her lease once her current 12-month one was up.

Now she says she's not sure what's going to happen.

"My whole concern is, are they going to honor our lease? Are they not going to honor our lease?" Cheyanne said.

The property management company that is overseeing the transition said it will honor those leases, adding that nobody is being forced out.

"That would be illegal. We are not forcing anyone out," said Russ Berkman with Valley Income Properties.

GCU sent 3TV a statement saying in part that they plan to help each of the tenants in relocating, specifically ensuring a speedy refund of their deposits.

"That doesn't even cover a U-Haul, plus I have to pay for myself to move into another place now and have to put a down payment," said Cheyanne.

The university told 3TV they will likely work up some sort of offer to buy the remaining tenants out of their leases, but the tenants do not have to accept it. By law, they can stay in their place until their lease is up.