The troubled Amity Gardens apartment complex near Gaithersburg, closed last month because of numerous housing violations, has been purchased by a nonprofit group that plans to renovate the property, Montgomery County officials said yesterday.

The Amity Gardens Development Corp., set up by the state-created Housing Opportunities Commission to purchase the subsidized housing complex, paid $180,000 last week for the three-level brick project and assumed a $550,000 mortgage, said HOC community relations officer Joyce Siegel.

Work on Amity Gardens, which housing authorities declared to be uninhabitable because of neglect and damage from two fires, is scheduled to start at the end of August, as soon as the remaining tenants have moved, Siegel said. Of the 51 units, 26 are occupied, she said.

Siegel said the renovation should be completed in less than a year. The county anticipates that it will receive $500,000 to $600,000 in fire insurance benefits to help pay for repairs to Amity Gardens, she said. In addition, Montgomery County has pledged $620,000 from the county's condominium transfer tax fund, she said.

The development corporation, which will oversee the renovation and then manage the complex, plans to install new appliances and energy conservation features such as thermal windows, Siegel said.

The corporation's board of directors was appointed by HOC and includes two HOC commissioners, Julia Marsden and Robert Bell, Siegel said. Other board members are Robin Budd, a resident of Amity Gardens; William Duvall, a community activist, and Harold Kramer, a mortgage company official.