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MANSFIELD — The Mansfield Metropolitan Housing Authority (MMHA) is bringing its maintenance in-house.

The MMHA recently purchased a property at 257 Lenox Avenue for $325,000. The .33 acre commercial property includes a 4,800 square-foot building.

MMHA Executive Director Steve Andrews said the building will serve as the agency’s new maintenance building. Andrews said the authority recently hired a maintenance director and is planning to add more maintenance and inspections staff.

“(The MMHA) had been looking for a building to use as a maintenance building for over a year,” Andrews said.

“This was done to prepare the (MMHA) to take over the majority of maintenance work at Turtle Creek Apartments, and in time be able to offer maintenance services to other community agencies to help save money.”

The MMHA manages Turtle Creek Apartments, a low-income senior housing complex on James Avenue. It will also manage the 120 additional low-income housing units proposed in the Turtle Creek Extension project. Construction is slated to begin in 2024.

The MMHA purchased the Lenox Avenue property from Jayson Van Pelt on Sept. 5, according to the Richland County Auditor’s website.

The auditor’s records state that Van Pelt purchased the property on the same day for $110,000.

Realtor Cheryl Meier, who represented the MMHA in the sale, explained the reason for the discrepancy is that Van Pelt owned the property under a land contract — meaning the property wasn’t officially transferred into his name until he sold it.

According to Rocket Mortgage, a land contract allows a buyer to make payments directly to the seller until the purchase price is paid in full. Thus, the property remains under the seller’s name until the property is paid off.

Meier said Van Pelt had done “a lot of work” to the building before selling it to the MMHA.

“It’s a fantastic building,” she said. “It was the cleanest commercial building that I think I’ve ever been in.”

Andrews said the agency wasn’t aware of any sale prior to its purchase, but due diligence was done to secure a fair price.

“As with any loan, the building went through thorough underwriting and an appraisal was done to confirm the building’s worth,” Andrews said.

“In a previous attempt to have a much smaller maintenance building built on site at Turtle Creek, the lowest bid came in at $792,000, so we declined to build and sought to buy.”

Andrews said the building is in “move-in” condition, though the agency will eventually add larger offices inside.

Staff reporter at Richland Source since 2019. I focus on education, housing and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. Got a tip? Email me at