JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For years, Justina Road had a bad reputation for crime, but now changes are underway in several apartment complexes that investors hope will give the area a new look and lease on life.
Kevin Browne invested in 40 apartments that had been condemned and poured in money to give them a new look. Browne likes what he sees happening.
"The main thing that we got a lot of support now, the community is involved, a lot of business owners involved," said Browne while standing in the courtyard of Villager North.
Across the street, a Texas company invested millions in 200 apartments called University Townhomes. Right now, a swimming pool is being filed in to make room for additional changes.
"We want to revitalize Justina Road. Previously, Justina Road had a reputation that wasn't so savory. We are here to change that," said property manager Jenniffer Martinez.
Next month, the neighborhood plans to have community day to celebrate the changes. Eventually, developers say they would like to rename Justina Road to reflect a changed environment.
A check on the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office website shows since the first of the year, there were 93 incidents reported within a quarter mile of Justina Road Elementary. Larceny, burglary and vandalism topped the list.
First Coast News