JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Regency Inn off Arlington Expressway sits empty, one day after it was shut down for several code violations.
Councilwoman Joyce Morgan represents District 1 in Florida, which includes Regency -- where the hotel is located.
“One of the neighbors I spoke with yesterday said, ‘I am moving.’ She says, ‘Fourteen years I have been trying to get something done and nothing has been done.’ She says, ‘This is really a day late for me,’” Morgan said.
On Friday, mattresses were leaning up against the chain-linked fence around the property. The building itself appeared in disarray.
Stephanie Foster was a tenant at Regency Inn.
“I came here from being homeless and now, I am probably going to be back out anyway,” Foster said.
The fire marshal issued a cease and desist order on May 11, referencing several violations including: Unsafe to public, structural integrity, life-threatening hazards, multiple code violations, unpermitted work and other.
Joseph King was also a tenant at Regency Inn.
“This place is horrible, bro. Horrible. I woke up in the morning like 5 a.m. to take a shower, got up in my socks, went to walk to the bathroom and stepped in half-inch sewer water inside the bedroom,” he said.
“This was not a livable habitat,” Morgan said. “We saw what happened at Gold Rush (Inn) in December. I just want to put folks on notice, that there is going to be more of this, closing these places down.”
An Arlington resident, who asked not to be identified, said, “It’s the best thing that’s happened to my family in years, because there is so much crime, prostitution, drug deals, traffic through the neighborhood, litter, dumping and the safety factor has been so scary for the past years.”
There were six recorded calls for service from January 2020 through May 13, 2021.
Morgan said different social services came to the site to help tenants in need over the past couple of days.