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Monday, March 16, 2020

Investors Spend $1.3M to Re-Develop Apartment Complex in High Crime Neighborhood


When Michael Merideth and Andre Lewis of VPG Enterprise received the call 30 days before they were set to buy what is now the Banks Apartments in New Orleans, LA, they still had time to pull out. It was the worst news that they could have imagined as the story was breaking about a double murder inside of the property they were about to close on. “It would have been easy to walk away at that time,” recalls Michael. "However, we had previous experience of knowing how our systems could be used to turn around these type of properties and the effects that they could have on the community for the positive."
Now known as The Banks Apartments, this 98-unit apartment complex located in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans has been totally transformed over the last 20 months. Michael and Andre’s development group, VPG Enterprise, purchased the property in Spring 2018 and have invested more than $1.3 million in renovating the property. “It’s amazing to see the change in the entire community,” says Andre. “When we first walked through the property, the kids would scatter when the police showed up. There was obvious gang and drug activity everywhere. Now, The Banks is a safe haven in the neighborhood and when the police show up now… all the kids run to greet them”

The college friends and fraternity brothers attribute the success of this development to sticking with the company’s overall mission of providing first class housing services that enrich its clients lives. This includes installing their own property management company on-site and showing the new residents they truly care. “When you make this type of investment and have an attitude of service towards your clients, you will be surprised at the difference this can make on all fronts,” Andre says.

The road to success on this development was not at all easy. On the morning the company showed up for its first day owning the property, they were faced with another violent murder inside the apartment complex. At this point, both VPG and the police department had enough and committed to working side by side to make sure this neighborhood became a safe place for everyone. This partnership and commitment was crucial to the success at The Banks and there have been no violent crimes on the property since and police calls to the address have reduced by 90%. The Banks Apartments it is now a 98% occupied, thriving community.

VPG’s work at The Banks is not done and the owner’s see this property as a legacy investment in its current portfolio. There are current plans to expand even further on The Banks site and the company to double its current 300-unit portfolio in 2020 in conjunction with its pending partnership with Goldman Sachs. “The Banks Apartments is a true testament of how reinvestment into real estate in underserved communities can totally change the environment for its residents. The residents now have a clean, safe place to call home and I am glad that I can be a part of that.”

For more details about their company, VPG Enterprise, visit www.veriusgroup.com

For press inquries, contact Verius Property Group, LLC at 252-258-6329 or mmerideth@veriusproperty.com