By Olivia DeSmit
Levav Properties, which recently acquired several apartment buildings in Beverly/Morgan Park, has notified residents via letters that their leases will be terminated. Many of the residents of these apartments have lived there for decades, including Brenda Robinson, who has lived in her apartment for 20 years.
“These people in this building and complex have become our family and friends,” Robinson said. “We’re very close to the majority of people.” Robinson, 72, lives with her brother, 65, and neither drive. “Everything is very convenient here. We have stores and restaurants within walking distances and transportation nearby. Trying to find all of that in a new place is very hard to do.”
While Robinson said she understands the apartment buildings are older and in need of some fixes and upgrades, Levav could have approached the situation much differently. “They should have come and talked to us and been more personal,” she said. “Putting a note on the door is not the way to tell somebody to leave.”
While the note Robinson received gave only 60 days until termination, she said she discovered upon speaking with tenant’s rights that she has 120 days. “My apartment looks like box city right now,” she said. “We’re planning to take the full 120 days if we can’t find somewhere before then.”
Robinson said the only positive to this situation is that the neighbors have come together to comfort each other. “We’re not alone in this,” she said. “That’s the only good thing — people coming together.”
Robinson is part of the O’Shea Neighbors United, a group that is affected by the Levav Properties lease terminations and meets every Wednesday at Bethany Union Chursh, 1750 W. 10erd St., to advocate for their rights. The issue recently gained press coverage from CBS News, Fox 32, WGN and other outlets.
Levav Properties recently left a note on one apartment building stating they will meet and work with residents, but Robinson said she didn’t receive such a statement for her complex. However, she did speak with a resident of a different complex, also owned by Levav Properties, who said the company told her she could stay in her apartment if she agreed to a rent increase. The price they listed was $2,200 for the apartment per month. “She said no, for that price,” Robinson said.