Topeka's 'Green Monster' undergoing nearly $2 Mill renovation

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A downtown apartment complex at 6th and Harrison, nicknamed 'the Green Monster' has kept up it's dangerous reputation for year.

In just a few short weeks, the building will showcase the first of many renovations to hopefully change that image, but one tenant says he hopes the changes to his home won't be the reason he has to find a new one.

"I have seen people die here, I have saw this. they've been stabbed, they've been shot, they've died in their homes."

Charles Deloney has lived in the St. Gregory Suites apartments for the past 11 years, and says he's seen it all.

"You come home, you lock the door, and that's it," he said.

Now the downtown complex at 6th and Harrison known as the 'Green Monster' for it's unique color and notorious high crime rate, will be getting a new shade and a new name.

"Everybody is willing to give a neighborhood or a building new life, and this is a great investment to do it here," said Topeka Councilwoman for District 1, Karen Hiller.

Oklahoma based company Eucalyptus Real Estate purchased the complex in Ma y of last year. The nearly $2 million renovation to what will soon be known as The Metropolitan, includes repainting the outside of the eight-story building while renovating its 114 units with new tile, carpet, vanity's, updated kitchen cabinets and appliances.

"That changes the image to people that go by people that just know a reputation, but don't have an experience with the building, and certainly it makes a difference for the people that live inside," said Hiller.

But, Deloney says he's worried that might not be the case.

"I don't think the renovation is for people like us," said Deloney.

Councilwoman Hiller says there's always a need for affordable housing for all incomes.

"A lot of good people have lived here, and this has been a good resource for them," said Hiller.

Deloney says he just hopes the building's new reputation comes with a price he can afford.

"I've endured all of this, I've paid my dues."

Eucalyptus Real Estate is providing temporary relocations to the tenants while the building undergoing renovations.

The company hopes to showcase the first finished level of the complex in the upcoming weeks.

The entire project is set to be complete by the end of the year.