Apartment complex aims to repair tarnished reputation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Apartment complex aims to repair tarnished reputation

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

In the last two and half years, police have been called out to the same East Texas apartment complex more than 600 times. Those calls ranged from incidents like robberies, assaults and even murder.

Now, that complex is hoping the community will give them a chance to repair their tarnished reputation.

Varsity Place Apartments are located at 3400 Varsity Drive, just across the street from UT Tyler. At first, the complex only recruited student residents, but now they're opening their doors to families.

There were nearly a dozen police officers at Varsity Place Apartments on Wednesday morning. Seeing multiple officers and the patrol units on the property is something the residents have grown accustomed to.

But Wednesday, those officers were not responding to a crime. They were celebrating the absence of it.

In the last three years, there have been at least three shootings at Varsity Place Apartments.
Two of those shootings were fatal, but the community was well aware that the crime didn't stop there.

"I would walk out my door and I would see caution tape and I was like, 'Ok. What's going on today?'" says resident Brandon Armstead.

After living at Varsity Place for two years, Brandon Armstead welcomes change with open arms.

"Varsity Place is the place to be, actually," says Brandon.

Implementing strict background checks and credit screenings has taken a hit to Varsity Place's occupancy, but a massive clean up was something the new management team, McKinley, knew they had to do.

"We'd rather clean up the community and make it a safe place to live, than to have just anyone living here and our residents moving out because of all of the chaos," says senior community manager Kesia Jordan.

"You can no longer just come in with a criminal background and move into Varsity and allow friends to live with you," she says.

Ray Aguinaga, the McKinley Management leasing director, says Varsity Place needed to get rid of everyone and everything that would become an obstacle for them down the road.

"Let us see what we can do to change your mind and hopefully we can make that impact on every single person that comes in," Aguinaga says.

Since new management took over at Varsity Place Apartments, their crime statistics have taken a dive. According to the Tyler Police Department, officers responded to 282 calls at the apartment complex in 2011. Last year, police were called to Varsity Place Apartments 340 times. So far this year, they've been called out there 24 times.

"We have a better relationship with the police department and we have a better rapport with the residents," says assistant property manager Deatrice Cotton.

Management says they know the community may still have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to Varsity Place apartments, but they hope, with these changes, they'll will live up to the community's expectations for safe and affordable housing.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Red Zone Rundown: Joe Drennon takes over Hallsville, Bobcats buy in to win.

    Red Zone Rundown: Joe Drennon takes over Hallsville, Bobcats buy in to win.

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 11:37 PM EDT2017-08-23 03:37:34 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    "I really loved wearing the orange when I wore it, but I'm awful glad to wearing purple and gold right now. Kids did a great job of being here all summer long. That in itself tells me they want to be successful," said Joe Drennon, Bobcats head football coach. It journey won't be easy. The Hallsville Bobcats are coming off a rough 2016 season where they only came out victorious twice.  "We can't control what's gone on it the past. What we got to do ...More >>
    "I really loved wearing the orange when I wore it, but I'm awful glad to wearing purple and gold right now. Kids did a great job of being here all summer long. That in itself tells me they want to be successful," said Joe Drennon, Bobcats head football coach. It journey won't be easy. The Hallsville Bobcats are coming off a rough 2016 season where they only came out victorious twice.  "We can't control what's gone on it the past. What we got to do ...More >>
  • 1 dead, 1 in custody following dispute over animals in Marion County

    1 dead, 1 in custody following dispute over animals in Marion County

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 11:33 PM EDT2017-08-23 03:33:25 GMT
    Amy Allen, left, and Amber LongAmy Allen, left, and Amber Long

    Officials say a dispute over animals between two former business partners preceded a homicide in Marion County.

    More >>

    Officials say a dispute over animals between two former business partners preceded a homicide in Marion County.

    More >>
  • Aggies working to be better toward the end of the season

    Aggies working to be better toward the end of the season

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 10:35 PM EDT2017-08-23 02:35:42 GMT
    Sumlin is trying to make sure A&M finishes strong in 2017.Sumlin is trying to make sure A&M finishes strong in 2017.

    On Monday the Associated Press released its top 25 preseason poll for college football. And for the third straight year, Texas A&M didn't make the cut. Starting fast though and moving their way up the polls in recent seasons hasn't been the problem. In fact, the Aggies, who have over a dozen East Texans on the roster, were number four in the initial playoff rankings last year.

    More >>

    On Monday the Associated Press released its top 25 preseason poll for college football. And for the third straight year, Texas A&M didn't make the cut. Starting fast though and moving their way up the polls in recent seasons hasn't been the problem. In fact, the Aggies, who have over a dozen East Texans on the roster, were number four in the initial playoff rankings last year.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly