by Luke Jones
Posted 11/12/2012 12:00 am
Trouble has been stacking up for Henry Management Inc., the company that runs the afflicted Valley Heights apartments in Little Rock.
Long before Little Rock sued Valley Heights over its crime issues, Landan Mitchell, former vice president of Henry Management and personal friend of owner David Henry, was sent to prison for 12 years for embezzling from the company.
This year, a spate of lawsuits and well-publicized incidents have shined a light on the conditions at Henry Management properties.
In June, the nine-story Plaza Towers building at 6115 W. Markham was evacuated after a fire started in a second-floor apartment.
Five people were injured and one person died in the blaze.
After residents were moved back inside, a water pipe burst, flooding the ninth floor with scalding water.
Henry Management was removed from management of the towers shortly after the incident.
In September, Regions Bank sued Henry Management for allegedly failing to manage the St. John’s Apartments in southwest Little Rock. The lawsuit said Henry Management was long overdue on water and power bills, and several entire buildings were without air conditioning. Regions alleged that David Henry had made an urgent request in August for $63,000 from his partners for unpaid bills.
In October, Regions filed foreclosure suits on two Henry Management properties: Valley Heights and Arrington Apartments at 6301 Camp Robinson Road in North Little Rock.
David Henry, CEO of Henry Management, hasn’t responded to repeated calls by Arkansas Business to his office. His website still lists all the aforementioned properties among the company’s assets.
There’s still hope, if not for Henry Management, then at least for the properties. Jordan Haas, owner of Rental Realty Inc. in Little Rock, for example, doesn’t think Valley Heights is too far gone for a recovery and is even considering purchasing the complex himself.
“I think it still has value,” he said. “It would be a shame to tear it down. They need a new management company in there, new money. It might need to be renovated. I’ll be one of the players in that.”