Deal keeping former Cambridge Arms apartments open gets mixed re - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Deal keeping former Cambridge Arms apartments open gets mixed reactions

Posted: Updated:
The City of Fayetteville announced the agreement late Thursday. It requires the owners of the Barrington Place Apartments to enhance security at the property, formerly known as Cambridge Arms. The City of Fayetteville announced the agreement late Thursday. It requires the owners of the Barrington Place Apartments to enhance security at the property, formerly known as Cambridge Arms.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

An agreement that will allow a notorious apartment complex in Fayetteville to remain in business is getting mixed reactions.

Some who live at the complex welcome the agreement along with the security measures and stability of knowing they will not have to move. However, some, including the mother of a murder victims at the complex, say it is too little too late.

The City of Fayetteville announced the agreement late Thursday. It requires the owners of the Barrington Place Apartments to enhance security at the property, formerly known as Cambridge Arms.

Two security guards must be present each Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. each night and then Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., the city said.

The city also said gates will be installed on the property. An additional two guards will monitor those entry points for 180 days.

Additional security cameras will also be installed.

"I think all those security measures are well needed,” commented Dannie Ingram who lives in Barrington Place. “It's going to do nothing but help the residents of this community for their safety and wellbeing."

Eric Grady agreed. He said he looks forward to the installation of access gates.

"I think it will cut down on the crime tremendously,” Grady said as he praised the city’s efforts. "It shows that the city is trying to change and become better. They don't want neighborhoods like this."

The agreement also requires a more stringent rental application, background check and evictions. There will also be random apartment checks.

The changes come after a second push from the city. In April of 2013, the city filed a nuisance abaitment lawsuit against the complex. That resulted in the complex adding lighting, security cameras and a security guard. Background checks for rental applicants also became policy.

However, after a double murder in January and another double murder in May in Barrington Place, the city filed a motion claiming the complex has not done enough to reduce crime. That motion called for the complex to stop renting units and essentially close if more crime reduction efforts were not taken.

"Something has got to be done other than adding cameras and adding security guards," said Clotilda Simmons Barnes.

Her daughter Shaniqua Simmons was one of the people killed at the complex in May. She thinks extra efforts will never be enough.

"I just don't think that's going to be the answer at all because they have too many apartments," Simmons Barnes said.

She claims background checks have not been done, and she feels the complex is just too large to be managed well. She would like to see the complex closed.

“I'd be happy to see it closed,” she said. “That would be part of me being able to rest, knowing that maybe that would stop some of the violence that's going on."

Managers of the complex, Southwood Realty Company, contend that crime there is not as bad as the city implies. They say they have met the requirements of the original settlement and have always cooperated fully with the city and the police department.

In a written statement Thursday, the city restated that the intent of the legal action has been to reduce crime.

"Contrary to the defendant’s assertions, this has never been about the city taking the defendant's property, this situation has always been about public safety both for the residents and the general public," city attorney Karen McDonald said.

Fort Bragg said service members have been prohibited since June 16 from leasing apartments in Barrington Place on a temporary basis.

RELATED STORIES

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

 

More News

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

  • Trending Stories on WNCN.com

Powered by WorldNow
WSHM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WSHM; Springfield, MA. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.