Fairlanes Apartments recover from vandalism and neglect

Tabitha Fleming
Staff Writer

The Fairlanes Apartments have a troubled past, but Julie Phan and her business partner Jim Mayhew are working hard to put all that behind them. When Phan purchased the property, she was looking to get rid of an eyesore, and to turn what was a run down, and heavily vandalized apartment complex into a family-filled gated community. That dream is slowly becoming a reality. Although the remodeling began with a bumpy start, where one contractor not only performed work below standards but also took it upon themselves to remove air conditioning units without permission, the Fairlanes apartments are finally starting to look like they can be called home again by families.
Jim Mayhew sees a bright future for the Fairlanes, but recognizes it had a somewhat checkered past. “I found a letter from 2009,” he said, “which was to the management company talking about the dangers of the stairways and balconies.” According to Mayhew, it looked like the previous owner hadn't allowed the management company to spend the money required to keep the property in good condition, and that they had chosen instead to let the place become run down. “There were some photos from those days,” he said, “there were cars sitting on blocks, trash everywhere.”
“This is my life's work,” said Julie Phan, who is hopeful about the future and excited about the possibilities, “it's like my own special project to play with.” The new features in the apartments make them a place that many in Borger would like to call home, and in a time when housing is scare, many likely will. Each unit will be completely redone with new plumbing and electrical, new air conditioning units, and new appliances. The carpet has been replaced by new tile floors and drywall has been replaced and painted. The stairs and balconies have all been rebuilt and brought up to code along with everything else at the complex.
The units in the complex are huge in terms of square footage. The three bedroom units are 1,375 square feet, that's larger than many homes. The two bedroom units are well over 900 square feet, and there will soon be people living in them. The asphalt which is in poor condition will all be removed and parking areas will be repaired while the remaining grounds are landscaped. The complex promises to be one of the nicest in town when it's finished, and definitely a vast improvement from what it was in late 2013 when it closed down.
“We will have about 30 two bedroom units ready to rent in mid November,” said Mayhew, “and we'll continue to rehabilitate the others from that point on. It's a big project, but it will move fairly quickly,” said Mayhew, “when we're done, we plan to wall in the entire complex and make it a gated community.”