SOUTH BEND -- City officials are optimistic that the owner of an east-side apartment complex will take steps to curb crime there.
Police were called to Courtyard Place Apartments more than 1,300 times from 2008 through 2011 and 117 times during the first seven weeks of this year, according to statistics shared at a South Bend Common Council meeting in February.
Those incidents included an 18-year-old man who was gunned down outside a children's birthday party in March 2011 and a 26-year-old man who was shot in the leg in February.
City officials have placed a spotlight on Courtyard Place in an attempt to solve the problems at the complex, which consists of 181 apartments in five buildings on the south side of Jefferson Boulevard, about a quarter-mile east of Ironwood Drive.
Common Council member Tim Scott, D-1st, provided an update Monday at the council's Residential Neighborhoods Committee meeting.
Scott said Howard Weiss, who owns Courtyard Place through Stamford, Conn.-based DMH Holding LLC, flew to South Bend recently to meet with a group of city officials. DMH has owned the apartment complex since August 2007, according to county records.
Scott said the group consisted of Assistant City Attorney Ann-Carol Nash, the mayor's Chief of Staff Mike Schmuhl, council member Dr. Fred Ferlic, D-4th, and Capt. Robert Hammer of the police department's Crime Prevention Bureau.
Courtyard Place's property manager, Carla White, also was included in the meetings.
"He was very cooperative," Scott said of Weiss. "It's nice to see he's willing to step up and rectify some of the problems, and make it a safer place than what it is."
Catherine Toppel, the city's director of code enforcement, told the committee Monday that it's a good sign Weiss was even willing to meet with the group.
"You'd be surprised how many won't even come to the table," she said.
Scott said Hammer assessed the property and gave Weiss and White a report with suggestions, such as hiring off-duty police officers to patrol the complex during hours of high crime, to improve security.
Weiss agreed verbally to make some changes, and Scott said he expects those measures to be implemented soon.
Staff writer Kevin Allen: