AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – It’s been roughly two weeks since a mobile camo security unit appeared at the Landings @ 237 Apartments.
Since then, the owner and commissioners have gotten mixed reviews from the community.
We spoke with the new owner of the complex. He tells us he never meant to stumble into a political minefield. All he wants to do is provide secure, safe, and affordable housing here in Augusta.
The Landings has been under new ownership since February, and it’s seen a lot of changes.
“The name used to be Candyland. And apparently, you can get whatever you want. And we’re not talking about candy. It’s Candyland no more,” he said.
The owner asked us not to use his name. He bought the property back in February after he says the previous owners left the place in shambles.
“We programmatically started to fix roofs, renovate for renovations of units, new floors, new kitchens, new bathrooms, new LED lighting,” said the owner.
But their biggest issue is crime.
“We noticed that there were there was significant criminal activity on the property. We needed to keep certain traffic and behaviors outside of the property,” he said.
He took matters into his own hands.
“I felt terrible that they had to live through crime and gunshots, and gangs and all kinds of criminal elements due to my property. And that that can’t continue,” he said.
He decided to put up a camo mobile security unit with bright lights, cameras, and a siren so people could sleep at night.
“I know there was a big uproar over the tower, but where was the uproar of Zayquantez Jones? Where was that? That was chalk mark 200 feet outside of the property lines. I would love to see the same uproar over that. Versus a tower that, therefore, to secure my property,” he said.
He says it’s needed for safety.
“The tenants of this community and the neighbors of this community deserve a community that does not involve gunshots and criminal activity,” he said.
The property owner says crime can’t be solved without action.
“At some point, someone has to step in and make it stop and collaboratively with neighbors, with law enforcement, with the commissioners. This is something that we’re trying to affect change,” he said.
The owner tells us he’s spent millions on these projects. There are security measures many are not aware of and that he cannot share, but it is all to make Augusta a safer place to live.
We asked him if he had anything to say about the sign with the official city logo and the commissioners’ names on it.
He says that was his idea to thank Commissioners McKnight and Clark for their efforts in getting the crime under control. That crime disappeared, but the security stand is still there.
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