Still living in partly condemned apartment complex

8 of 19 buildings at Shannon Ridge Apartments condemned last week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dozens of residents were told they had to leave the Shannon Ridge Apartments last week, but people still live in the other half of the complex that wasn't condemned.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the city of Jacksonville's Drug Abatement Response Team raided the complex in the 5100 block of Shenandoah Avenue, eventually condemning eight of the 19 buildings -- a total of 63 apartment units.

A week later, a resident who stayed in the complex told Channel 4 that the conditions are awful. 

"We have no priority because they are trying to fix everything else, so if there's something wrong here we can't move next door," said Florista Watkins. 

Residents with condemned apartments received temporary shelter, a month of free rent elsewhere and a waived deposit fee. Watkins said her family is living in conditions that aren't much better than those in neighboring units that were condemned.

Watkins said she is paying $585 a month to live in a unit without air conditioning, with mold that started growing after a flood, and with giant holes in the walls.

American Management Group, the company that manages Shannon Ride Apartments. Channel 4 contacted the company that owns the building, which said it stands by American Management.

"Our decision to hire them has been a good one and they continue to improve the property on our behalf. In the 12 weeks we have owned the property, we continue to make great strides."

Watkins said she's haunted by the possibility that any ill-doer can walk into one of the unlocked, condemned apartments and cause harm.

At this point, she said she wants to get out of the building.

"Before we felt a little more safer because everybody would watch out for my kids, but now it's like, 'Where are the kids? Where are they,' you know?" said Watkins.

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