Prospective Essex Village buyer aims to ‘improve the quality of life’

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — A Baltimore-based real estate investment firm is interested in purchasing the beleaguered Essex Village apartment complex in Henrico County.

The company is named SAA/EVI Development, and the President, Ernst Valery, confirmed he visited with residents earlier in the week, as well as Deputy County Manager Doug Middleton on Friday.

Valery said he is committed to helping improve the quality of life for residents at Essex Village and is hoping to receive a tax credit deal so his firm can completely rehab the property.

He said he also hopes to provide social service programs for residents to improve their lives, and to create a tenant council that could advocate on behalf of residents.

Essex Village


“We are interested in being part of a joint solution to improving the lives of the people who live at Essex and contributing resources and ideas that go beyond bricks and mortar and recognizes that geniuses live in all zip codes. We want to support the ones growing up and living at Essex,” Valery said.

However, he said he wants the support of the county and residents before moving forward.

Valery confirmed his company does not do business with PK Management, which currently oversees management of Essex Village.

PK Management is the management arm of GHC Housing Partners, which currently owns Essex Village. The company has managed the property for the past five years.

Essex Village has been the subject of an on-going CBS 6 investigation.

Residents have told CBS 6 that the company has not done enough to fix things like leaks, flood damage, sewage problems, structural issues, broken lights, and bug infestations.

Holes in wall at Essex Village apartment

A CBS 6 investigation also revealed the county found 140 code violations at the property last year, and Middleton called it “not a place anybody should have to live.”

Subsequently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development inspected the property and gave it an “F” grade.

Valery said his company currently owns 20 properties, and he has been in touch with Greg Pearlman, the CEO of GHC Housing Partners.

“He has come to us with a proposal for the property that we believe will result in better quality of life for residents there. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with him,” added Middleton.

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