JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Managers of a Jacksonville strip mall said car clubs doing donuts in the parking lot have caused extensive damage and want something to be done.
The managers said drivers have caused around $60,000 to $70,000 in damage at a strip mall near Beach Boulevard and Parental Home Road.
The managers shared photos of tire tracks taken shortly after their parking lot was turned into a track for local car clubs. They said it is becoming a major expense for property owners. At times, the managers said, the drivers show up in huge numbers and intimidate them and they feel helpless.
The parking lot of the abandoned strip mall that once housed a large grocery store is now covered in tire tracks. It seems like tire tracks might not be a big deal, but it is to the property manager who’s about to lease out the space to a new tenant and may have to spend thousands to repave.
“I sat and watched them hit trees, knock trees over, bend trees, almost hit the column of the shopping center. They intimidate the owners of Mikey’s [Pizza] when they’re open late at night. Get right in front of their store and do doughnuts,” said James Hamilton who owns Angus Property Management.
Hamilton said car clubs regularly come on his lot and spin doughnuts and do this all up and down Beach Boulevard.
“They start down at Sonic on Beach Boulevard. They move to the old closed down K-Mart at Beach and University then Arby’s now they’re back at us,” he said.
Hamilton said they’ve called police to help but officers arrive and say they can’t do anything unless the drivers are caught in the act.
News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the property owners will have to either hire off-duty officers to patrol these lots or hope JSO increases patrols.
“The Sheriff’s Office can step up patrols in that particular area when they’re not influxed with a lot of calls for service, so there’s ways they can be eradicated,” Jefferson said.
Hamilton said he’s not sure whether he should repave or not because he could spend tens of thousands of dollars and then the car clubs could just come back and damage the lot again.