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Investigation launched into apartment complexes that forced tenants to leave over alleged asbestos

Health department working to fact-check claims made by landlord
Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-14 01:28:53-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — After hundreds of tenants were booted out of their apartments following the alleged discovery of dangerous asbestos levels in their homes, News 5 Investigates found apartment complex management wasn't being fully transparent about the situation.

In our original report Friday, we uncovered that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment didn't have any asbestos test results on file for the Thrive at the Incline Apartments, formerly known as the Shannon Glen Apartments.

This was the second of two complexes that ordered tenants to evacuate immediately.

Despite telling tenants that the evacuation orders came at the recommendation of the state's health department, a spokesperson for CDPHE says that simply was not true.

"The decision to evacuate all tenants came directly from the building's owner," a spokesperson said.

There are still many unanswered questions Dunmire Property Management, the management company which oversees operations at Thrive at the Incline and Thrive at Park's Edge will not answer.

Both properties were purchased by Slipstream Properties, a Denver-based investment firm last year.

Both Slipstream Properties and Dunmire Property Management have remained "silent" and have not responded to media inquiries from KOAA News 5.

When we asked for the asbestos test results for apartments in both complexes, a secretary for Dunmire Property Management said they have "no comment".

While the state's health department did confirm that elevated levels of asbestos fibers were found at Thrive at Park's Edge earlier this year, it's unclear whether those elevated asbestos levels were found in every unit, or whether every unit was tested.

If every unit was not tested for dangerous levels of asbestos, an attorney tells KOAA 5 there could be major legal repercussions for forcing those tenants to leave, in some cases, with only their clothes and major essentials.

You can read more about what our legal expert said about this case here.

What's the latest on this case?

We can now confirm that the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division is investigating asbestos concerns at 7 different properties in Colorado Springs:

  1. North 49 Apartments
  2. Thrive at Park’s Edge Apartments
  3. Thrive at Rockledge Apartments
  4. Thrive at Incline Apartments
  5. Thrive at Slopeside Apartments
  6. Thrive at the Point Apartments
  7. Thrive at Elevation Apartments

"The department is currently investigating whether residents at these facilities were exposed to asbestos and whether any state laws were broken during the renovation work," Andrew Bare, a spokesperson for CDPHE said. "And if laws were broken, we will pursue appropriate action. We ordered asbestos testing at the complexes, and we are closely monitoring the work being conducted by private asbestos consultants and/or contractors."

CDPHE says they would like to hear from any tenants who believe they may have information that could be helpful to their investigation. The number to call is 303-692-3100.

On Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, Paul Suter with Suter Media Relations sent the following statement on behelf of Slipstream Properties:

Dunmire Property Management is the current property manager of all seven properties. While Slipstream Properties did register the properties the company is no longer involved in management. The company a minority investor has not been involved with management of the communities or of the ownership group since July 2019. Please also note that Slipstream Properties has no authority to comment on behalf of the current ownership entities.