Ever since he heard about the murder that took place in 2001 at the Applecross Apartments in Augusta, Georgia, Joe Mullins had a vision for improving and bettering the Columbia County community for generations to come.
It was 3:30 am on August 18, 2001, when a brawl broke out between 10 to 15 people at the Applecross apartment complex which was a common occurrence back in those days. Ashley Smith’s husband, Daniel, was stabbed four times during the fight and died in his wife’s arms on the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
After several success stories transforming complexes and making them safer for tenants while also improving the value of the property and surrounding real estate, in 2016, The Mullins Companies announced a multi-million-dollar investment in Applecross apartments.
Joe Mullins, born and raised in Augusta, GA, has spent the better part of the last two decades developing and shaping the future of Columbia County, and now he is also heavily involved in the development and bright future of Flagler County in Florida.
While it takes time to develop and rehabilitate neglected properties especially considering how real estate has been impacted by the pandemic these last few years, there are many positive things that have happened since The Mullins Companies' acquisition of Applecross apartments in 2016.
Real estate values have gone up while affordable housing statistics have also improved. This is an area of specialty for The Mullins Companies. National data supports that since its acquisition in 2016 of the Applecross Apartments, now Clara Point, the property values in the area have gone up.
According to a USA TODAY Network localized analysis generated with data from Realtor.com, the median sales price for a single-family home in Columbia County during October of 2021 was $250,000. That's an increase of 8.7% compared with October 2020 during a global pandemic.
Since its acquisition of Applecross and rebrand to Clara Point, the community has also gotten safer with robbery and property crimes down 10% and 15% respectively from 2016 to 2019 which help contribute to the increased property values.
While the property values and related taxes and investments towards property improvements have gone up at Clara Point and throughout the County, the cost of housing has remained affordable. Each year, US News & World Report releases data from Moody’s Analytics and the US Census Bureau regarding the affordability of housing in each state. Georgia ranked as the 13th most affordable state for housing in the US. Further Sperling’s Best Places reports in their recent study that the cost of housing in the Augusta-Richmond County specifically is cheaper than both the State of Georgia and the US average.
Even when tenants could not pay rent, The Mullins Companies continued to invest in maintenance and repairs for its tenants. Despite what some erroneously report, The Mullins Companies has property managers who are easily accessible and ready to assist tenants with any issues they are facing with their units. Every reported issue and concern has always been addressed and will continue to be addressed.
Due to challenges faced with labor shortages and supply shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, maintenance and repair projects take longer than normal, and many tenants have been afraid to report issues for fear of being evicted since they got severely behind on their rent during the pandemic. Those fears caused things that were once minor issues are now major issues and will take time to repair. Every property management company in America is facing similar challenges, but The Mullins Companies continues to reinvest in its properties and better the communities it serves in Georgia and Florida.