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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Johnstown native planning to renovate dozens of run-down homes

By Maria Miller

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- A Florida attorney with ties to Johnstown says she's purchased dozens of rundown properties throughout the city, hoping to bring them new life. Many of the homes are located in the Prospect neighborhood and have sat empty for years, attracting rodents, squatters and crime. But if all goes as planned those homes could be renovated and rented out in just a few months.

It was just this past June when 6 News talked with a local man who had already started renovating four of the homes that sit along Route 271 in Prospect, with plans to level many of the others and start from scratch. But sometime between then and now another person bought the homes through a judicial sale and she has big plans of her own.

"Whenever Id rove through Prospect, I realized that a lot of those houses made up the majority of that little area and I thought to myself, 'Well OK, if these were picked up, this area would be beautiful'," said Danielle Michaels.

Michaels is an attorney in Florida who represents investors of foreclosed and tax sale properties, But she's from Johnstown. When she found a business venture that will help clean up her hometown, she said she jumped at the chance.

"That area with those buildings being up kept and nice and redone could actually be a really nice area for people to live and raise their families," said Michaels.

Saying the homes are in bad shape is an understatement. On Monday, 6 News found most of the windows smashed, doors broken in and the wiring stripped from inside, but Michaels said she has a bright future for the 32 buildings, or 64 apartments, she's purchased.

"We're redoing everything. The only thing we're really keeping is the shell of the building," said Michaels. "We put new roofs, new double-pane windows, new doors, new kitchens, new bathrooms... Everything is completely new."

And she said one of the homes located along Corrine Avenue in the West End is proof. With renovations nearly complete, she said the home should be ready to rent by the Feb. 1.

"We're asking $560 a month, that includes the garbage, water and sewage," said Michaels.

Michaels said her original thought was to provide rentals for Section 8 housing or low-income families, but said if the need is there, she'll rent to anyone.

For more information, Michaels can be reached at 954-627-4343. Questions can also be answered locally at 814-269-9535.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times