Ridge Apartments rebuilding; coming back from fire

Published 8:18 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

Almost six months after it was destroyed by fire, Building F at the Ridge Apartments off Lake Hills Drive is rising again.

“We’re at the blacking out phase of the building,” owner Anthony Monroe said. “That’s where the roofs, walls, interior structure; the windows and doors, the shell of a building, is being put up.

“As soon as we get the permits, we will put in the electrical and the plumbing and the drywall and the fixtures — cabinets and doors going in. I’ve got a month to a month and a half at the most before completion.”

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He expects to reopen the building in the beginning of October.

Jan. 12, that opening seemed far away.

An early morning fire destroyed the 24-unit building, leaving almost 50 people homeless. The gutted building was little more than a shell, and Monroe was working to find homes for the victims.

“I got about 90 percent of them placed (in other apartments),” he said, adding he was planning to rebuild as he was relocating tenants.

“I had insurance,” he said. “There was no doubt the structure was going to go back up. We started demolition and we started construction two months ago.”

He was surprised the building has gone up do fast.

“We were held up because we had to get permits and follow the codes, which had changed since the apartments were first built,” Monroe said. “And the city wanted some additional fire safety features.”

That meant items like fire retardant dry wall, firewalls and insulation.

“The contractor has worked seven days a week on the project,” he said. “I’ve really got a competent crew. They’ve taken it upon themselves to handle business.”

Monroe said three of the building’s former tenants have said they want to move back. “And I’ve been getting calling about the apartments.

“Everything in the apartments will be new. Newer fixtures. It will be better quality fixtures, upgraded lighting, upgraded flooring. Everything is going to be brand new, better quality; new air conditioning and new appliances.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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