You can read the agenda from the March 2011 City Council meeting where plans for renovation were first discussed ( http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/clerk/agenda/items/2011/031411-1.pdf ) and a transcript is below.
The tenants of the two formerly occupied buildings all had to vacate under court order recently as part of the renovation - its been a long drawn out process. The City, in particular city staffer Sara Daines, and Bruce Williams and Colleen Clay along with pro bono legal assistance, helped the tenants successfully fight for a fair package of moving assistance, a contribution toward rent while they are out of the buildings, and guaranteed right of return to the buildings at current rent rates. It was a lot of behind the scenes work by the City staff and Council on behalf of residents who should have been better served right off the bat by the County agency (HOC) that owns the buildings.
I don't know the timeline for the completion of the project but I expect the appearance outside will be much improved along with the quality and condition of the apartments.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes as part of the City's efforts to maintain the socioeconomic diversity of Takoma Park. I really appreciate all the hard work that went into helping these residents get a better deal from the county.