New management, Port Arthur Police detail positive changes at Avery Trace

Published 12:30 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

Major changes have been taking place at Avery Trace Apartments in the two-plus months since a new company took over management.

Florida-based Apartment Property Management Services came on board in early October with officials saying they would make upgrades for safety and security. One of the changes promised, and fulfilled, was the installation of cameras.

Property Manager Brandy Fox said the cameras were installed two to three weeks ago for the 310-unit property.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso said it’s too early to tell if the cameras are a deterrence to crime, but he believes they will help identify any violators.

Police have access to monitor the cameras and can tap into them in real time, he said.

The apartment complex at 4020 FM 365 has been a high crime area for a number of years and the site of shootings and killings. Fox said since new management took over, they have only had to call police one time and in that instance it was unavoidable.

The call, she said, was about a mentally disabled minor.

Besides the addition of cameras on the property, management has worked with collections regarding people not paying rent.

“We have spoken with all of them, and quite a few have decided to move out instead of being evicted,” Fox said. “We’ve noticed since some have moved out, it’s a lot quieter on the end (where there’s been past issues).”

The maintenance supervisor, who came from Florida, is working to fix the exterior lights in the next two months.

“We hope, with the lights and new cameras, to get rid of the bad apples,” she said.

Fox said the complex employs new office staff and a new maintenance staff. Previous staff, she said, did not leave the office but now staff members get out and meet tenants, as well as take care of any issues that arise.

Duriso believes the new management is on track to do what they said they would do.

“The new management company has continued to move in the direction they said they would do to get cameras installed and agreed to let us have access to them. I see no reason not to believe them,” Duriso said.

Fox said with the new staff they will get the property turned around, adding they have a lot of experience in dealing with distressed properties.

“It’s going to take more than a few months to turn around mismanaged property,” she said.