DeKalb County

DeKalb apartment complex that was known as a hot bed for crime is cleaning up its act

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — It’s a sense of safety Gloria Rainey says she hasn’t felt in years while living next to the former Forrest at Columbia Apartments.

“I feel a whole lot more safer,” Rainey said.

The complex is now called the Scenic 2505 apartments. Management has says about 80% of the property has been renovated with bright yellow doors welcoming visitors and renters.

“It was very very uncomfortable for all the residents living in my community,” Rainey said.

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Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln has reported on multiple issues plaguing the property prior to the new ownership.

Last year, renters reached out to Channel 2 for help after complaints about a rat and mice infestation.

“He’s got to go in individual buildings and set more traps,” said property manager Brittany Lewis.

Lincoln was at the property when management met with an extermination company.  The exterminator told Channel 2 the property has a severe infestation with roof rats. They’re rodents who make their way in from the attic.

“It had just been neglected for a very long time,” Property Manager Brittany Lewis said.

Lewis says the new management company inherited this problem after purchasing the property last year.

Channel 2 was onsite after that purchase when management gave tenants just 30-days to move out before renovations began. Our news coverage sparked protest and some tenants were allowed to stay while renovations were on going.

“It was traumatic. It was not good. But when you look at the end of the rainbow, guess what happens, now it’s birthing some great things in our community,” DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson told Lincoln.


Johnson, whose district this property sits in, attributes this change to the public private partnership.

“Those shootings at night, people couldn’t sleep and our partnership helped us with public safety and code enforcement so all of these things we did helps alleviate these issues so now we can use our resources in other places,” said Johnson.

Renter Jazmin McQuien recently moved in, and attributes county resources for putting her in contact with nonprofits like Jaby who provided her with rental assistance.

“The fact that I had the resource to be able to even come upon this community is a blessing,” said McQuien.

Property management anticipates renovations to be completed by July 2024.

For more information on rental assistance from Jaby, click here.

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