Crime stricken apartments to be torn down - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Crime stricken apartments to be torn down

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus area apartment complex, known for high-crime activity, may be seeing its last days.

City council members voted Tuesday to purchase the land for future developments.

But while the city is hoping to tear the units down, people who live in the apartments like Gene Calhoun are concerned about what will happen to them. He has called the Wade Street apartments home for the past 13 years.

Calhoun says while many call the area known as "the hole" a bad place he hasn't seen any trouble.

"To me it's nice in this area. I haven't had any problem, no complaints are anything like that," Calhoun said.

Columbus police and city officials say for years the apartment complex has been a place of high drug and prostitution traffic. They say redeveloping this area may put an end to the crime in this area off Benning Road.

"Those apartments are crime-ridden and we wanted to go ahead and acquire those to facilitate the redevelopment of the enterprise zone," said Isaiah Hugley, Columbus City Manager.  

Hugley says the city will buy the apartment land with money from a 1999 SPLOST. $500,000 will go towards finishing efforts to revitalize the Liberty district. $112,000 dollars will be used to purchase the apartments.

"The owners will be required to relocate prior to acquisition of the property and we will demo the property, properties but for now it will be used as green space," Hugley said.

Still folks like Gene Calhoun who live in "the hole" want more than green--space but a place to call home.

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