JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville’s Nuisance and Abatement Board will meet Thursday to discuss recent calls to tear down the troubled Home 1 Great Stay on Harts Road.
Despite changes in ownership, City Councilman Reggie Gaffney Jr. said that the hotel is still a crime magnet. He said this is the second time the hotel has gone before the board in as many years.
Gaffney also told News4JAX he frequently gets calls from people in the area who said the hotel still has problems with drugs, violence, and death. For those reasons, the people there just don’t feel safe.
The hotel used to be called the Gold Rush Inn and was known for attracting crime including drugs, homicides, and murders.
Even with a name change and new ownership, people in the area said very little has changed.
Gaffney said after two deaths and a number of other violent crimes, it’s time to have a serious talk about what to do with the hotel.
“I got over 15 to 20 calls from constituents on Harts Road, fearing for their safety,” Gaffney told News4JAX. “They asked me to shut this hotel down, and when they call me, it’s my job to respond and react.”
News4JAX also spoke with the hotel’s new manager who said she and staff were doing what they could to make the hotel a safer place. The manager went on to say they were not initially informed of the hotel’s full history of violence before the property was purchased.
“We do know that the hotel has had some really, really bad prior incidents and prior things that have happened under that old name,” the manager said. “Again, we are doing everything under our power to make sure that we get rid of that negative impact that that area has.”
Gaffney also told News4JAX last month that he would be open to having conversations.
He will visit the station on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to discuss the conditions.