Apartment Residents Scramble For New Place To Live


by Kirk Hawkins

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Armed with moving supplies, Mackeia Johnson took a long walk to her Southpark apartment. "It just came like a ton of bricks. It's unbelievable," she said.

Johnson lives in one of the 103 units of the Stratford Apartments on Park Road. All residents of the complex received this letter that told them to move by April First. While it caught some by surprise--"I didn't expect it at all," said resident Melvin Stephens--others say the signs of change were hard to ignore. "They don't really take care of anything or maintain the property really at all," said resident Scott Jordan.

A closer look at some steps, paint peeling away, and missing bricks were just some of the reasons Mary Santiago just had a feeling about what was coming. "We figured it wouldn't last long. But we didn't think it would happen like this," she said.

The Stratford Apartments will be replaced by 275 luxury units called Myers Park Place by the fall of 2015. The new complex will offer granite countertops, a resort style swimming pool, yoga facilities and a new path connected to the Greenway. "They could have given us much more notice. People with kids especially. You're taking them out of everything. Their home. Same schools. I don't think it's fair," said Santiago.

The Stratford Apartments provided transition packets and packing supplies. But many residents worry they don't have enough time to move. "We're messed up right now. We don't know where can we go," said resident Abdullah Alhajri.

Mackeia Johnson, like many here, is now scrambling for a new apartment. "It just all fell on me at once so I don't know what I'm gonna do," said Johnson.
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