AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — Dallas Houston has lived in the Marion Homes neighborhood for almost 60 years — her home has been in her family for generations.
The neighborhood’s rich history dates back to the 1950’s — but since then some of the homes have been abandoned and become rundown.
” The abandoned houses and stuff they need to tear them down and maybe build something better,” Houston said.
Real estate developer Jeremy Johnson wants to change that.
He has a plan to redevelop the neighborhood while taking into account input from the community.
” As I understand it there haven’t been many developers who have come to the table and said hey what would you like to see done with your community and I think that makes all the difference,” Johnson said,
While redevelopment sounds like a good idea for some —
” That’s what they really need. We really need that,” Houston said.
Others say they want the neighborhood to stay the way it is.
” Just maintain your property and let it be. Everybody loves their peace and quiet. Everybody is to themselves. That’s it.”
Some residents also concerned redeveloping could raise property taxes and end up pushing them out.
” We’re barely making it as it is right now. You know you have have so much to pay — light bill, gas and water bill. Then plus you pay your taxes and sometimes you don’t have the money,” Houston said.
Johnson said he understands that concern, but his goal is to keep residents in their neighborhood they call home.
” Many people focus on the increase in property taxes which tends to happen, but the other thing that tends to happen is the value of their home goes up so they get to enjoy that instant equity. I think that’s well deserved because they’ve lived here long enough that they should be able to enjoy that equity and not be pushed out of their homes,” Johnson said.