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'I think it’s a cowardly move' | Midtown residents frustrated over forced moveout

Residents at Crescent Place Apartments have until July 1 to move out, according to management.

ATLANTA — Dozens of Midtown Atlanta residents are scrambling to find a new place to live after management said they must leave.

11Alive was alerted shortly after tenants at the Crescent Place Apartments were given 30-days notice to move out. 

Mark Diemer has made Crescent Place his home for the last two years. He works out of his apartment, doing customer service for a retailer. Diemer said he paid $1,200 a month for his one-bedroom apartment. Now, Diemer and dozens of his neighbors have to move from a place that once served as housing during the 1996 Olympic Games

"Finding anywhere in Midtown or near the city for $1,200, you're either going to live in a tiny little shed or one of the worst neighborhoods ever," Diemer said. "Now that they’re kicking us all out, we have a month left. They made us pay our last month’s rent, so we don’t have that extra grand, $1,200 to go around and find a new place with.”

Apartment management sent residents a notice, alerting them the doors will permanently close July 1 and gave them 30 days to leave. Management says anyone who moves out before July 1 or brings in another lease from another place is eligible to receive $500. 

"This site has been slated for redevelopment for years. In late April, the site came under new ownership with new plans for redevelopment. Specific project plans have not yet been announced. We recently informed Crescent Place Apartments residents of the 30-day notice, which is in accordance with their lease agreement," property manager Elisa Harrison said in a statement.

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"I have my fiancée, I'm going to go move in with her," Diemer said. "But my heart went out to all my friends. They're all scrambling. They don't know where they're gonna go. Some people in here are probably facing homelessness after this."

Other residents like Angela Garrison don't have their next place lined up. She drives several miles to get to work in Fairburn, and she said she is unsure where she might find an affordable place to live on such short notice.

"I'm a little ticked off because I could have gone somewhere else," Garrison said. "Everybody is scrapping for that little $1,200 apartment. The demand is going to be high. Right now, I haven't found anything. Nobody has anything available."

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According to Rent.com, the average rent in Midtown Atlanta is more than $2,100 a month for a one-bedroom unit. Residents at Crescent Place pay about $1,200 a month for a similar apartment layout. Garrison said the difference, nearly $950, could mean the difference between finding a new home and living on the streets.

"For people who have been paying their rent on time, been faithful, keeping their apartments with no damages and stuff, I think they should have given us ample three to six-month advance," Garrison said. 

Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises wants to tear down Crescent Place and other surrounding buildings near Crescent Avenue and 13th Street in Midtown Atlanta. Selig plans to work with Google to lease space in a new high-rise that will later be built. The news has floored longtime residents just hoping to find a new place to sleep or work.

"It is what it is, and you just have to go out there and hustle and try to survive," Diemer said.

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