JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville is cutting the Millenia Companies’ property tax bill in half to help the owners of the Valencia Way apartment complex afford repairs to natural gas lines.
Mayor Lenny Curry on Wednesday signed bill 2020-0024, which offers property tax rebates to Millienia Companies in an effort to supplement the renovation of four of its apartment complexes: Valencia Way, Calloway Cove, Palmetto Glen and the Weldon. The bill cuts Millenia’s tax bill in half for up to 10 years or until the aggregate amount of the payments reaches $2 million.
Millennia Housing Development Ltd. closed Oct. 24, 2018, on its purchase of the four low-income Jacksonville apartment complexes. Millennia planned to spend $17 million renovating Eureka Gardens, now named Valencia Way, but the cost to repair the gas lines was more than initially expected.
“They budgeted about $50,000 per unit. They did an amazing job, but that $50,000 didn’t include the gas lines, and someone had to pay for the costs. We are just refunding some of their property taxes,” said Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis.
This afternoon I signed bill 2020-24 to support our continued efforts to improve housing conditions at the former Eureka Gardens and other properties. I appreciate the amazing collaboration from my colleagues on City Council. @Ron_Salem @matt_carlucci #1City1Jax pic.twitter.com/1Ju1BwjcOD— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) February 19, 2020
Among the other improvements planned for Valencia Way include new windows and doors, new furnaces and central air conditioning units, new plumbing, countertops and cabinets, new stairwells, porch and balcony configurations, and additional gas shutoff valves to enable them to fix a small gas leak without turning off gas to the entire complex. Residents who spoke with News4Jax said they are pleased with what they’ve seen so far.
“I like the new look. I really like the new look,” said resident Andre Nero. “And the new management is about business, and it shows.”
Residents said they were also happy to hear the city is offering property tax rebates to the new owners in order to ensure that their quality of life is restored.
“We haven’t had any gas leaks lately, and I’m glad to see that the City of Jacksonville is offering these tax rebates for Millenia so they can fix the gas properly,” Nero said.
In years past, families at the apartment complex were forced to evacuate during gas leaks, which fire marshals said at the time could have led to gas explosions.
Some of the other unexpected issues that are being addressed include major plumbing repairs at Palmetto Glen, and other issues -- such as termites, soil contamination and overall deterioration -- at all four apartment communities are also a concern.
Residents are thankful that the city is doing what they can to pitch in to ensure that their quality of life improves.
“I believe they can only do as much they can with the limitations of the money they have, so with the more money given, they’ll be able to do more than they wanted to do,” Nero said.
Millenia anticipates the major overhaul work at Valencia Way to be completed sometime later this summer.