U-Hauls and tears: moving day in a gentrifying neighborhood

I can remember when my next-door neighbor, they had been here probably as long as my mother and the last thing, when that U-Haul took off to move them out of here, I couldn’t do nothing but cry. I couldn’t do nothing but cry, it really hurts to see them go knowing that this was their neighborhood. — Oakhurst resident, January 2014.

An Oakhurst family moving out of the neighborhood in October 2011.

An Oakhurst family moving out of the neighborhood in October 2011.

A few days after the U-Haul left, the trash bin was delivered just before dawn one morning.

A few days after the U-Haul left, a trash bin was delivered just before dawn one morning. Shortly after that, the house flipper’s contractors began work enlarging the home (photo below). Before moving, the previous owner had repeatedly been contacted by builders to sell the family home. She held out until one made her an irresistible offer.

flip-house-rear

The house flipper’s contractors began work without permits and were shut down by the City of Decatur. Once construction resumed, work continued well into the nights (after 9 p.m.), beyond what was allowable under City code. Trash was strewn throughout the yard of the house, spilling into neighboring yards. Neighborhood email lists regularly carry complaints about builders who create noise, trash, and traffic nuisances.

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Note: The resident quoted above was describing a location in the Decatur neighborhood near the property illustrated here. U-Hauls, tears, and trash bins are common sights in Oakhurst.

© 2015 D.S. Rotenstein