Residents of Darlington Apartments rally for better conditions, moving assistance

Athena Parker speaks about conditions at The Darlington apartments at a Sept. 17 rally. (Photo by Evelyn Andrews)

Residents at Buckhead’s Darlington apartments rallied Sept. 17 to voice concerns about deteriorating conditions and their struggles to find new housing after the complex owner notified all residents they had 60 days to vacate.

In August, renters at the Darlington, one of the few affordable apartment complexes in Buckhead, said they were surprised with a letter left at their doors that said they had to vacate their units by Oct. 17. Varden Capital Properties, the developer that purchased the building about a year ago, plans to renovate the complex, but has released few details and has not responded to requests for comment.

Participants at the rally spoke about conditions at the apartment while holding signs that said “people before profit” and “housing is human right.” They later walked to the sidewalk at Peachtree Road and chanted as cars drove by.

Residents complained the air conditioning was broken for three weeks. Once that was fixed, the hot water stopped working, they said. Most at the rally said they are not trying to stay at the apartment and don’t plan to return once the renovations are done, but want more moving assistance from the owner.

The apartment complex, located at 2025 Peachtree Road, is famous for its “Atlanta Population Now” sign, which has been tracking the population since 1965. TriBridge Residential sold the property to Varden for $30 million in April 2017, according to Fulton County property records.

The Sandy Springs-based developer is known for renovating affordable complexes into “luxury” units. Varden has purchased and renovated approximately 18,000 units in the Southeast since 2012, according to its website, but the Darlington is the only unit it currently owns in Georgia. The rents at the Darlington range from $600 to $1,000 per month, according to the website.

Athena Parker, who said she has lived at the Darlington since moving to Atlanta eight years ago, said she believes the owners are forcing residents out because they want to make more money on a property in a prime location.

“I think they’re doing because they’re greedy,” she said.

She said she is afraid the only affordable options available to her may be in a dangerous area.

“This is my home. These people are my family,” Parker said. “I’m scared. Am I going to become homeless?”

Read the rest of this story at Reporter Newspapers. 

1 Comment
  1. I am truly disgusted by how the eviction of the Darlington Apartments was handled. A single mom on a fixed income in our girl scout troop was a former Darlington Resident. Out of compassion and empathy for her situation I and another mom in our troop helped her move on Saturday. Seeing it first hand, I was appalled by the conditions and the way in which this was handled, signifying to me that the owners were incredibly greedy and did not handle the situation with integrity or honor. The tenant I helped move out from her 9th floor apartment Saturday had no air conditioning and I was also told no hot water. Her windows were propped open, it was 90 degrees Saturday and Atlanta had endured several weeks of high temperatures. Vacant apartments which lined the hallway where residents had already moved out were both littered and doors were marked with a black spray painted circle. The building itself had an unidentifiable odor and was desolate. It was apparent that residents had given up long ago. In life we go through many ups and downs but being forceably displaced has to be one of the hardest circumstances which can not fully be understood until experienced. Varden Capital Properties should be held accountable for how they handled this process. I caution anyone to engage with this company.

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