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Neighbors and community leaders weigh in on future of former Gold Rush Inn

Since January, police have been called to the hotel over 50 times for things like drugs and domestic violence.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Whether it's the Gold Rush Inn or Home 1 Hotel, crime has called that area of Harts Road home. 

"But down here man, prostitution all this stuff I don't want our children's children future to see this and [say] momma why is this lady walking out here at three and four o'clock in the morning?" Harts Road neighbor, Dr. Jelly Jackson, said. 

Since 2021, Dr. Jackson has called Harts Road home.

"See that's what's going to happen pretty soon, the fire trucks come in," Jackson said across the street from the hotel as fire trucks zipped down Harts Road. 

In the first three months of the year, police have been called out 52 times for things like drugs and domestic violence.

Two weeks ago, a body was found in the hotel. 

As the sirens bellow, children from nearby school walk home passed the hotel. 

"When I see kids, children if you see somebody oh, he tried to talk to you just run," Dr. Jackson said. 

But what do city leaders think? District councilmember Reggie Gaffney Jr. wants to see the hotel shut down. 

"We got a dangerous hotel for the last five years and it's time for me as well as city officials, and JSO, state legislators to close this hotel down," Gaffney Jr. said. 

His opponent in the May election, Tameka Gaines Holly, would like to hotel to serve a purpose. 

"If it becomes where it can no longer be in our community and it turns into something that the community can use such as a youth center," Gaines Holly said. 

Whether it stands or crumbles Dr. Jackson says crime must be evicted.

"If you shut it down one, and if you don't make it a senior citizen building and come over there and senior citizens aren't going to be over there acting crazy 8 [p.m.] or 9 [p.m.] they'll be asleep," Dr. Jackson said. 

Gaffney Jr. said the city's nuisance and abatement board will decide if the hotel stays open or not.

The board will hear Gaffney Jr.'s complaint April 27th.

First Coast News called the hotel asking to speak with a manager, but never received a call back. 

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