'Eyesore' property cleaned up after 11Alive report | News
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Residents of a Stone Mountain neighborhood say an eyesore in their community is being cleaned up after 11Alive held the powerful accountable.
Back on Feb. 15, a homeowner in that neighborhood, Precious Hatcher, said residents had been begging the county for more than five years to do something about the abandoned property on Wood Path Lane.
In fact, DeKalb County records show that Code Enforcement battled the previous owner for eight years, with warnings and citations, and is still seeking a court order to tear it all down and clear it all away.
On Thursday, Hatcher told 11Alive's Jon Shirek that improvements were made after the story aired.
“The [new] owner sent a crew after your story aired," she said. "They removed the tires, they mowed the lawn, they trimmed the hedges. They were out again yesterday working on it. It’s a work in progress, but it’s a big improvement.”
An investment firm out of New York, White Tree Municipal Capital, bought the tax deed on the property this past September. The property is in the process of foreclosure, so White Tree doesn’t actually own the property.
The investment firm's co-founder and managing partner, Allan Szlafrok, said he had no idea the property had “gone to pot.” He says as soon as he heard from 11Alive, he called crews in Atlanta to schedule the clean up.
"I called them up and I said, 'Take care of everything, remove the tires, get a dumpster,'" Szlafrok said. "'Make the property look presentable --nice, neat, clean and safe.'"
Szlafrok said he got an email on Thursday from his crews telling him that they’d just finished.
"I’m glad, because I don’t want to be the guy with the bad property," he said. "I want to be the guy who’s making a good impact on society and just doing the right thing, overall.... We're very serious about making sure that there's no hazards to health or no eyesores, because it doesn't do us any good, either. And it's just not the right thing to do, to leave that stuff there."