New owners make improvements to Summit Avenue apartment complex after deadly fire, code violations

Data pix.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Renters say they’re grateful for improvements at Unity Place Apartments, formerly known as Summit Avenue apartments.

“I feel proud when I get out of my automobile or I’m just walking up,” Jerome White Jr. said. “The lawn looks good, the outside of the apartments look good, when I go in mine I feel good because I know improvements are still being made. I still have high hopes for this complex.”

White moved into the apartments in 2018, before inspectors found more than 200 violations on the property.

“I would take a shower and the kitchen would leak,” he said.

It’s the same apartment complex where a fire killed five children in 2018.

In July, CJH2 Enterprises purchased the 42-unit property on Summit Avenue. T.E. Johnson and Sons now manages the property.

“Our big goal here, is to take care of the people who already live here,” Cathy Robertson said.

Thursday, employees installed fire stops at dozens of units. Robertson explained they are also replacing stovetops that include sensors.

“This burner will not get hot until a pot or a pan is placed on there,” she said. “We believe that those simple measures that don’t cost any more can go a long way in keeping residents safe.”

Robertson said that units were also being outfitted for central air-conditioning, something they lacked under the previous owner.

She said despite the investments the owners have made, like repaving the parking lot and purchasing a video surveillance system, they are working to keep units affordable.

“We understand that there’s a need here for affordable housing and we want to be able to fill that need as much as we can,” she said.

Out of 42 units on the property, 9 are still under renovation.

She said they look forward to more improvements, including landscaping changes and fixing low-hanging power lines.

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