Alewife articles bring results for Rindge Tower tenants
by Derren Lewis-Peters
The president of Schochet Associates has stepped up to defend his company's handling of the Rindge Towers, saying that management has made a strong investment in the future of the troubled developments.
"In the past, there have been robberies, people committing petty vandalism, spreading feces on the walls, urinating on the elevators. That's a big reason why we've pumped up security. We've installed cameras, so we can see exactly what people do in the common spaces from the time they enter, to the time they leave," said Richard Henken, who has overlooked operations at the Towers since 1999.
"We don't ever want to go backwards. We don't want to improve the Towers, then have a few individuals come in and make it look like it did years ago," he said. "That period is over. We can't tolerate that."
Schochet owns 362 and 364 Rindge Ave. The 504 combined units there are managed by Federal Management, a subsidiary of Schochet.
Henken said the process of repairing the image of the Towers has begun. "We're taking things in phases. The next phase is we're doing our best to make things nicer.
Making the common space more attractive, the grounds, the apartments," he said.
"We've completely rehabbed 220 units -- soup to nuts," he said.
Management's committment to improvement is real, Henken said. "If your apartment hasn't been painted in 10 years, then dammit, we're going to paint it," he said. "Our goal is customer satisfaction. It has to be. Why would we want our tenants upset at us? I tell the manager all the time, if a tenant asks for something, give it to them. If its within reason, just do it," he said. The on-site manager is Michael McDonald.
After an eight-month tenure, John Craig, the president of Federal Management has left the company, he said.
Henken said that part of the problem lies with unclean tenants. "We have exterminated, renovated, done all the things we need to do. But, we have some tenants who aren't helping the process. You have to keep your apartment clean," he said.