Earlier in April, we told you about a church on Deer Park Street plagued by a row of abandoned duplexes. The owner of that property has promised to clean it up, but he also wants you to know that he is making positive contributions to the community. He says his efforts have already helped take back neighborhoods like Pleasant Oaks Apartments on 1225 Bailey Avenue.
Children playing on manicured property. Since 2009, it's a typical scene at Pleasant Oaks Apartments on Bailey Avenue. It hasn't always been that way. Formerly named Georgetown Terrace, the living was not easy with drugs, violence, loitering and the like making life difficult for residents. Long time renters like Dorothy Lee Clark remember those days.
She said, "We had different people coming on the property and they didn't live over here which I see a whole lot and the security has changed a whole lot and it makes it a little more safer now, but back then it wasn't, but he has done a magnificent job with these apartments and I commend him for that."
Clark is referring to 36-year-old Gowon Brisby. His company now owns the property.
Brisby said, "We'll have a steadfast approach to crime and no nonsense approach to tearing up the property. We're not going to take that."
Brisby is a 1999 graduate of Tougaloo College who moved here from Chicago and decided to stay. And now, he says, he's on a mission.
"We all have to do our part and this is just my part to help take back the city of Jackson and help take back the community.", said Brisby.
Brisby's company is also responsible for restoring the old Cohen Brothers building across the street from the King Edward Hotel. What will be done with it, he says, is still in the planning stage.
He said, "We're unsure right now. It's probably going to be along the lines of restaurant, retail operation; things between those two options, most likely, but it's definitely a project, another project where it was down and we came and tried to help uplift the community."
As for his abandoned duplexes on Deer Park Street, Brisby has this promise to the members of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church across the street.
"Church members, it will be addressed. It definitely will be addressed. It's not just gonna hang out there and keep hanging and hanging. We will get something done about it.", he said.
Brisby says he is trying to find a contractor who will do a good job at a reasonable rate to demolish the dilapidated duplexes.
Let us know how we can help you take back your neighborhood. And, if you've already turned your community around, we want to know how you did it. Just send an email to email@example.com.
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