After years of ownership by a out-of-town real estate investors and bankers, the Oaks on Bandera apartment complex in San Antonio became a death trap on Jan. 7. A stairway broke free from rotted wood and three residents fell on a sidewalk. Paul Sambrano, 45, suffered fatal head injuries and died three days later. Public records show complaints to the city's Code Enforcement Services program spiked last year, after the apartments were bought at a foreclosure auction by a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank. The chronology links to stories and public documents that help explain how things got so bad at the Oaks on Bandera.
Created by John_Tedesco on Jan 22, 2011
Last updated: 02/14/11 at 04:28 PM
Tags: Oaks on Bandera Bandera Oaks San Antonio Fatal Accident Code Enforcement Code Compliance JPMorgan Chase Bank
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The city's Dangerous Structure Determination Board met Monday to decide the fate of the Oaks on Bandera. But the meeting was canceled after plaster broke free from the lofty, decorated ceiling in the City Council chambers and fell with a thud near a city inspector.
The lawsuit accuses the owners of gross negligence.
Paul Sambrano dies from head injuries he suffered from the Jan. 7 stairway collapse.
Resident Paul Sambrano Jr. and his family spot a burglar in one of the many vacant units at the complex. They chase him.
As they run down a stairway, it breaks free from the building. Sambrano, his wife and niece fall to the sidewalk below.
Sambrano, 45, landed on his head and died three days later. His family members were injured but survived. The burglar escaped.
CRP Properties sells apartment complex to a partnership of six different limited liability companies.
During CRP Properties' ownership of the Oaks on Bandera, resident complained to the city about broken windows, trash, open sewer lines, and other nuisances more than 50 times.
Overall, there were 67 code enforcement complaints in 2010. That was the highest number in the past six years, according to city records.
The city's Dangerous Assessment Response Team inspects Building "A" at the apartments after residents complained it was damaged by a fire and had attracted vagrants. The city tells the owner to vacate and board up the building. The owner complies.
At the time, the inspection team does not look at other buildings at the complex -- including Building "B," where the stairway later collapsed. Officials said the complex actually has three different addresses, and the inspectors did not realize the apartments were all part of the same complex. They also did not have any serious complaints at the other buildings.
A firm of California real estate investors, Three Oaks Bandera LP, defaults on a $4,795,000 loan owed to JPMorgan Chase Bank. The apartments were sold as a foreclosure auction at the Bexar County courthouse. The buyer was CRP Properties, Inc., which is a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank that handles troubled assets. CRP bought the apartments for $2,669,640.
That same year, complaints to the city's Code Enforcement Services department peaked at 67 complaints, the highest number since 2004.
A firm tied to real estate investor Lahav Gabay, of California, buys the Oaks on Bandera apartment complex. During Gabay's ownership, residents complained to the city's Code Enforcement Services department 18 times, on average, per year from 2005-2009. Most of the complaints were for relatively minor violations, such as trash or broken windows.