Photo by Johnny Jackson
Dianne Jackson (from left), Rosie Hillie and Shanika Walker joined a dozen other Regal Forest residents wearing T-shirts supporting their campaign to keep Clayton County Public Schools from moving forward to condemn the apartment complex in Morrow.
JONESBORO — Legal counsel for the Regal Forest Apartments community is relieved for now that the complex will not be condemned by the Clayton County Board of Education.
Christian Torgrimson, a managing partner at Pursley, Friese and Torgrimson, is one of the attorneys representing property owner Mark Nelkin of Atlanta.
Torgrimson said there was indication that the board would not pursue condemnation proceedings to get the property and tear down the apartments to build a school.
However, “We have not heard anything officially,” she said.
Torgrimson said residents contacted board members, who had a favorable response to their concerns.
The lot, at 5771 Trammell Road in Morrow, had been a proposed site to construct a facility for the board’s Elite Scholars Academy charter school. Torgrimson acknowledged the complex would be a convenient location for the academy, which plans to participate in Clayton State University’s dual enrollment program. Regal Forest Apartments is about a block away from the new Morrow Middle School and next to the university’s east campus.
Torgrimson said the occupancy rate has continued to grow despite the threat of eminent domain.
The property is also convenient to Morrow Middle, where many children in the complex are enrolled. It is centrally-located near shopping, industry and Clayton State University.
“It’s very quiet and off the beaten path,” she said. “It provides the home that these folks are looking for.”
Torgrimson said the law firm will continue to monitor and follow the board’s meetings and their plans for the project.
“We’re very appreciative of the board response,” she said. “And we’re hopeful that they will find another site and protect Regal Forest. We’re going to continue with our efforts to fight for the community and make sure that it is protected in the future.”