Elisha McGowan thought she moved into a dream apartment.

In April, the single mother of two boys moved the family from the Americana Park apartments to the brick building at 309 N. Harrison St., known as The Berg.

“It had more space for the boys, space for their bunk bed, and it had a washer and dryer right there in the apartment,” McGowan said of The Berg. “I had a lot of high hopes, you know? That’s all over now. It’s just been a nightmare.”

The city of Davenport condemned her apartment and ordered her to vacate it on July 5. McGowan and her two sons are without a home and had to leave belongings behind.

Other tenants have remained in the building since McGowan’s apartment was condemned.

The Berg is managed by the Andrew Wold-owned Village Property Management. It was built in 1874 by Henry Berg, a gunsmith. It was purchased by Andrew Wold Investments from Phoenix Properties in 2019.

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McGowan has been staying on friends’ couches or in her car. Her sons are with friends who can house them on a more permanent basis.

She said the trouble started with a leak in her laundry room.

“The water was falling on the electrical outlet and, eventually, part of the ceiling fell in,” she said. “And there was black mold that made me sick.

“I don’t know what to do or who I can go to,” McGowan said. “I’m trying to get a lawyer, but I need a place to live, and I have nothing. I paid $900 a month and I put down a security deposit. I can’t even get the property management people to return my calls.”

Multiple attempts were made to reach Village Property Management, which no longer lists a working telephone number.

McGowan works in Eldridge and has a rental history. But getting a new apartment is, for now, out of her reach. She wasn’t prepared to start over so soon after saving up to move to The Berg.

She was dealt another blow over the weekend when she discovered furniture from her apartment was up for sale on a Facebook marketplace page. That posting vanished after McGowan contacted the seller, who did not reply.

“My sons’ bunk beds and my TV stand were being sold,” she said. “It just made me sick inside. I kept thinking about how sad my kids are going to be when I have to tell them.

“Mostly I’m just depressed, and I know my sons are angry. I was the one who complained, and I feel like I’m the one being punished. I thought I was moving to a nicer place. Now we have no place and no one.”

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