The Near Northwest Management District was awarded a federal grant in 2008 to put community revitalization programs in place. District B Councilman Jarvis Johnson hopes for a neighborhood turnaround as a result of the tear-down.
“As we look at tearing this down, we look at rebuilding this particular area so we can make sure that this area, again, will become a destination site for many of the people who desire to live in this area.”
Tom Miller owns an apartment complex across the street from the abandoned Gable Apartments. He says problems began with Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
“Initially, didn’t seem to be a problem. But then it became very clear that these people brought their drugs, their guns. And then so the good people from the area moved out. The homeowners were extremely distressed by what was happening, and it was killing the apartments.”
Ed: “What would your tenants like to see across from them there?”
“An empty park! No, I think it will probably be put to use for gardens. There’s not a community center. It’d be a great place for a community center.”
Councilman Johnson says it’s taken five years of community action to get to this point at the Gable Apartments.
“We certainly will start having to pass more legislation and certainly more ordinances that will hold owners of these properties more accountable, to make sure that they’re keeping their properties up, and if they’re not keeping them up, that they will tear them down themselves.”
There are 163 units being torn down, and demolition will take six to eight weeks.