Apartment Complex Bringing Down Neighborhood

WEST MEMPHIS, AR--The saying, one rotten apple can ruin the bunch is proving true in one West Memphis neighborhood.

Residents feel the Mayfair Apartments are ruining the neighborhood.

West Memphis resident John Speed enjoys sitting in front of his house and monitoring traffic on his street. He feels his neighborhood is near perfect.

"It's just bad down there on that end," said Speed.

Speed isn't the only resident who feels the Mayfair Apartments are bringing down the neighborhood.

"All of the trash that would collect over there would blow into my yard, that was the first thing I would do every morning was come out and clean up the trash," said resident Bill Ball.

Ball has lived across from the abandoned 180 unit complex and has seen it vandalized and looted to the point where it is a prime location for drug dealers.

"Everybody in this neighborhood takes care of their property mows their grass and keeps their houses in good shape and then you have an eyesore like this next door to you," said Ball.

According to neighbors a fence was put up around the Mayfair about a month ago. It's helped to keep people and trash out of the neighborhood; however it doesn't change the fact that the major eyesore is killing the property value in this pleasant neighborhood.

"If we every decide to sell out, we are going to take a beating because of something like that," said Ball.

Now, residents are ready for a change.

"If I had it my way, I would tear it all down and build homes in there," said Speed.

"We'd love to see them make a parking lot out of the place," said Ball.

According to Alderman Lorraine Robinson, the city has wanted to condemn the property for years, but has encountered problems along the way because it is private property.

Before they can condemn the property, they must contact the owners, but that has proved difficult because it has changed ownership a number of times. Neighbors just want something to be done.

"It's not fair. We were here before those apartments were and now they are going to drag us down," said Ball.

According to Robinson, the city is continuing to search for the owner and hopes to begin filings to condemn the property in the next couple of weeks.