Lofts Apartments in Albert Lea continue to see mechanical issues with elevator

Continuous Breakdowns of a Basic Need

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(ABC 6 News) – Frustration is mounting for some residents in Albert Lea after they say their building’s elevator continues to break down with management seemingly dragging their feet.

The Lofts complex, owned and operated by Paramark Real Estate Agency based in Rochester, is home to many elderly residents and those with disabilities. And the lack of an elevator has made treks up and down the stairwells very difficult for some.

Residents say management has sent someone to repair the elevator at least three times since Monday, Feb. 26, but residents also say those repairs are just Band-Aids; the real problem is being kicked down the road.

“It’s not good for anyone else in the building,” said William Wachlin, a five year resident of the Lofts. “Part after part, after part, after keeps getting replaced and then it keeps breaking down.”

An elevator is something many may take for granted, but for others like Wachlin, it’s a necessity that has remained broken for weeks.

Just a few months ago, Wachlin was bed-ridden from hip surgery and the daily walks up and down the stairs just to leave his unit has taken a toll.

“Every other resident in the building is not happy. They’re frustrated. They’re quite furious of the whole situation. Thank God I wasn’t on a walker at the time when the elevator went out. Or else that would have caused major complications going up and down those stairs,” said Wachlin.

Since repairs were made last week, an unsettling noise has echoed throughout the building, only making tenants concerns worse.

“I was just told in an email by management, ‘It’s just loud, but it’s functional and it’s safe,” said Tara Simmons, another five year resident of the Lofts. “But then on Saturday, it broke again. And same thing, it’s running again and they keep telling us, ‘It’s just loud, it’s safe, don’t worry.’

But residents don’t just have a problem with slow repairs or the creaky elevator which management claims is safe.

“It’s just really hard dealing with this company, I kind of feel like, it’s just another big company being greedy,” Simmons said.

“You know, a person would hate to say this, but I could see a lot of it coming down to the point of everyone moving out. I don’t know who else would want to deal with this any longer than we have,” said Wachlin.

ABC 6 News did reach out to Paramark Real Estate Agency for comment on this story but they did not return our request.

Simmons and Wachlin say that they worry how much longer many of the residents, including themselves can continue with this malfunction.