I-TEAM: Trash piling up at apartment complex cited with violations

Records show unit condemned Friday when code enforcement went to Majestic Plaza

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Neighbors at a Moncrief apartment complex said their dumpster was taken away, resulting in residents dumping their waste and garbage in a large pile in the middle of the complex.

But News4Jax I-TEAM uncovered more safety violations at Majestic Plaza.

Signs posted at Moncrief apartment

According to the City of Jacksonville, Code Enforcement went out Friday to inspect Majestic Plaza and the property was cited with multiple violations. The I-TEAM also found at least one unit was condemned that day.

City inspectors wrote in one report that they “conducted an emergency inspection for an emergency nuisance board up. Apartments at this unit are vacant, open and unsecure. The vacant units are being used for purposes that present a risk to the safety of families and children at Majestic Plaza.”

The city inspectors also wrote "the property has a collapsed roof," multiple units “have doors or AC boxes open, exposing (the) property to the elements" and there were "no dumpsters for the trash."

A city spokesperson told the I-TEAM there are no plans to condemn the property at this time.

Neighbors said they have been dealing with the trash piling up in the complex's parking lot next to the playground for weeks.

"You can smell it over here," said Michael Drayton, who lives across the street from Majestic Plaza. 

As the I-TEAM walked the property Tuesday, there were broken windows, broken air-conditioning units and trash scattered everywhere.

"As you can see, we have no dumpsters here. We have no hot water. We haven’t had hot water since before last year," said Majestic Plaza resident Liz Sims, who has a 6-year-old and another child on the way. "There’s no one out here to service. We have had the city out here."

When asked for all the fire inspections since 2015, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department sent one report from December when Majestic Plaza failed a fire inspection. According to that report, the power was cut to one apartment over electrical safety and several families were relocated. 

At that time, city fire inspectors cited the complex for a total of 10 violations, including failing to provide enough fire extinguishers and failure to maintain an exit door.

"It’s had its ups and downs. In the beginning, it wasn’t as bad. But now, it’s gotten worse," Sims said. "This is a hell hole."

The I-TEAM learned the property has switched hands multiple times in the last six years. It’s had five owners since 2013. Property records show the latest owner as Rockwell One Properties LLC. The I-TEAM attempted to contact Rockwell One Properties LLC, but had not heard back as of Tuesday afternoon.

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