Five evacuated Creekside families remain in hotels as others find temporary housing options

The Olmsted County housing stability team continues efforts to seek permanent housing for tenants after the Southeast Rochester apartment building was condemned.

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Creekside Apartments includes three buildings along the west side of Marion Road in Southeast Rochester.
Randy Petersen / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — Five families remain housed in local hotels after being evacuated from the Creekside Apartments last week.

Mary O'Neil, Olmsted County’s housing stability team program manager, said the 24-unit apartment building at 1455 Marion Road SE had 13 active leases last week when it was condemned by the city of Rochester.

“A few families had secured other permanent housing, some transitioned to (stay with) friends or family, and others required emergency shelter,” she said, adding that all tenants are out of the building.

The apartment building, which is one of three in the Creekside complex, was condemned after vandalism to its sprinkler system caused flooding, which revealed other housing violations that must be resolved before anyone can occupy the building.

Since Olmsted County has limited shelter space for families, the five families without a place to go were offered hotel stays, and O’Neil said they all accepted.


She said it’s unclear how long the families will be able to stay in the hotels.

“We have offered 30 days for now and will re-evaluate needs as we progress through the month,” O’Neil said.

Olmsted County Housing Director Dave Dunn said county staff will be meeting with the displaced tenants to provide details on how things could unfold, as well as information regarding support for finding new housing.

He said some options are being discussed to provide new permanent housing, including some that could prevent children needing to change schools.

“I know our team is looking and they found some units that might match (families’ needs),” Dunn said.

Rochester-based Sunshine Chester LLC recently purchased Chester Estates apartments on Sixth Avenue Southeast from St. Paul-based BB Housing, which owned it under the umbrella of Phoenix Development.

In addition to the newly unsheltered families, the Creekside condemnation has displaced one single adult, who O’Neil said was referred to emergency shelter at the Rochester Community Warming Center and the Dorothy Day Hospitality House.

While the cost of housing the families and storing belongings of all the tenants has yet to be determined, Dunn said the efforts are being funded through the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, using state funds recently received to address youth and family homelessness in the county.

“We will be seeking any legal remedies we can to charge back to the property owner,” he said, pointing out that the uniqueness of the situation means county legal staff is researching options.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or
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