City Council's agenda includes bill on Eureka Gardens, 3 other complexes

Company seeking $90 million in bonds for purchase of four apartment complexes

By Eric Wallace - Senior Producer, I-TEAM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A bill introduced to the Jacksonville City Council last month had its second reading before the council Tuesday night.

It would authorize the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority to issue up to $90 million in bonds to finance The Millennia Companies' purchase of Eureka Gardens, along with three other GMF-owned complexes: Moncrief Village, Southside Apartments and Washington Heights. 

The prospective owner of Jacksonville's Eureka Gardens apartment complex plans to spend nearly $22 million on construction in order to rehabilitate units at the troubled property on the Westside, according to a city document.

Eureka Gardens is one of several federally-subsidized apartment complexes in the city owned by the Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, TN.  The I-TEAM started investigating Eureka Gardens and its owners in the fall of 2015, after residents complained of unsafe and unsanitary conditions. 

The I-TEAM discovered problems like mold, crumbling staircases, gas and carbon monoxide leaks.  The complex still received a passing inspection score from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2016, before failing its HUD inspection this year.

According to a city council analysis of the bill, the total development cost of the four projects is $125.6 million.  That figure includes the acquisition cost, construction costs and general development costs.

 

The Millennia Companies, based in Cleveland, OH, emerged as a potential buyer for the complexes in September of 2016, four months after GMF listed the properties, and others nationwide, for sale.  Millennia took over day-to-day management of Eureka Gardens and the other local GMF-owned properties in February.

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