A large water bill is not the only debt facing a New Jersey-based company that owned a sprawling south Columbus low-income apartment complex.
A News 3 investigation has discovered that a subsidiary of PF Holdings owes the city of Columbus $460,530.56 in back taxes and fines dating back to 2015.
The city put liens on the property in 2016 and 2017 for more than $300,000, according to records in the county tax commissioner’s office. There is no lien on file for the more than $150,000 in back taxes and fines owed for 2018. That lien is expected to be filed in the next month, according to a spokesman for the Tax Commissioner Lulu Huff’s office.
Despite those delinquent property taxes and liens, Eagles Trace GA, LLC sold the complex on more than 60 acres in late December for $9.9 million, according to Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk records. The new owner is another limited-liability corporation, 2001 Torchhill Road LLC.
The new company, which lists a Cedarhurst, N.Y. address, was established with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office on Christmas Eve. The sale was closed on Dec. 28, according to Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk records.
Eagles Trace GA, LLC, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., filed with the Secretary of State on Jan. 3 to terminate its corporation.
Randy Lomax, an attorney for the Muscogee County Tax Assessors office, tells News 3 that Eagles Trace GA has been in negotiations with the city to settle the tax debt. Lomax declined to go on camera at this time but said there could be a settlement in the next 10 days or so.
News 3 reached out to Eagles Trace GA attorney Matthew Hall of Macon. We have not heard back from him. On his web page, one of his specialties is complex business and commercial transactions.
Eagles Trace is located near the Fort Benning gate off Torchhill Road. A number of the residents receive Section 8 housing vouchers from the federal government.
Eagles Trace was purchased for $12.8 million in 2001 by ERA Limited Partners, according to records on file with the Housing Authority of Columbus. The local housing authority issued revenue bonds for that deal. Those bonds were refinanced a year later.
In 2015, the property was sold to Eagles Trace LLC for $9.355 million. That appears to be where PF Holdings came into the deal.
Late last year, those bonds were in default and called, according to Housing Authority of Columbus records. On Dec. 28, the same day of sale, those bonds were paid off.
If PF Holdings sounds familiar, it should. It is the same company that owns the Ralston Tower in downtown Columbus. Unlike Eagles Trace, the water bill and property taxes are current at The Ralston.
The sale has also created some issues for the Columbus Water Works. They have determined that the old owners owe about $105,000. Water Works spokesman Vic Burchfield says the new owners owe about $25,000, but the Water Works is also requiring a three-month deposit.