Troubled Valley Heights Apartments in Little Rock Try New Lease on Life

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 12:00 am  

The saga of Little Rock’s embattled Henry Corp. and its subsidiaries seems to be in its epilogue, with the company’s various managed properties falling under foreclosures and being scooped up by banks and other property management groups.

The company’s website is gone, the office lines are disconnected and founder David Henry is unreachable. But what happened to his company can be gleaned through the stories told by those who lived near his properties and the trail of lawsuits left in his wake.

Perhaps the most notorious example of a Henry property gone bad is the Valley Heights complex at 6900 Cantrell Road near the Kingwood neighborhood.

In 2002, a year after his company started, Henry, now 50, purchased the 126-unit complex from Robert Wilson Sr., who had developed the complex in 1970. Henry paid $5.35 million for it along with the 56-unit Windsor Arms project at 1601 N. Bryant St. In 2004, Twin City Bank of North Little Rock provided Henry a 16-year loan of about $4.5 million to refinance Valley Heights.

In 2007, he added 72 units to the complex, backed by a $4.3 million bond issue through the Pulaski County Public Facilities board. The bonds were secured by a $4.3 million letter of credit from Regions Bank of Birmingham, Ala.

Valley Heights was already known for crime, but the situation escalated after the apartments came under Henry’s management.

In 2010, a group of Kingwood residents started a petition railing against the constant noise coming from the apartments.

“This had nothing to do with the neighborhood association,” said Paul Remmel, vice president of the Kingwood Neighborhood Association, a native of Little Rock and a six-year Kingwood resident. The residents, he said, “just took up their own initiative.”

The group took the petition to some city officials, and soon a meeting was arranged with other residents about the apartments.

“It was a lively, open discussion,” Remmel said. “Henry Management was there. David Henry was there, as well as the city director and city manager. That was the first of a series of meetings. We got some face time with David Henry and a lot of suggestions were thrown back and forth. At least once a year a similar meeting would come about.”

Remmel said Henry deserved credit for walking into a hornet’s nest.

“He was receptive to some ideas,” Remmel said. “He did take action in the form of changing pool hours and repairing some fence lines, stuff like that.”

 

 

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