City councilman calls for troublesome Northside hotel to be demolished after body was found

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney Jr. and residents in the Turtle Creek neighborhood are demanding that a local hotel shut down after the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said a body was found Saturday.

Gaffney held a news conference at the former Gold Rush Inn on Harts Road. He and several other concerned residents talked about how the hotel is a source for crime in the area, and they demanded it be brought down.

“This community has been plagued with violence, murders, prostitution, drug activities, the whole nine yards. The community is fed up. I’m fed up,” Gaffney said.

Neighbors said when the hotel was shut down three years ago, the crime decreased in the area. Just a few months after it reopened in 2023 as the Home 1 Great Stay, someone was found dead.

“I am terrified when I come through here a certain time of night. And I shouldn’t be,” Bernadette Baker said.

Gaffney is calling on the Jacksonville Public Nuisance and Abatement Board to shut down the hotel for good.

“Right now, it is a hazard and it’s a nuisance to the community. Right now, the constituents do not feel safe along Harts Road. I do not feel safe at night. They cannot sleep at night knowing it’s another senseless violence,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney said he hopes to the hotel closed by Monday.