Essex Village Apartments renamed following controversy

Essex Village Apartments renamed following controversy

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico's Essex Village Apartments has a new name.

After an uproar over plans to call the facility the "Maggie Lena Walker Apartments," the new owners just announced the complex will be named "St. Luke Apartments."

The new owners say they met with the head of Maggie Walker High School's alumni association and agreed on the name change.

"It is in the good spirit of Maggie L. Walker that the residents of Essex Village—now St. Luke Apartments, want to rename and rebrand their home," said J. Maurice Hopkins, C.E.O/President of the Maggie L. Walker High School Alumni. "Ms. Walker was all about empowerment and striving for a stronger, better life. It is an honorable thing to follow in her footsteps."

"I've talked to over 248 residents at St. Luke Apartments over the past couple of months, and everyone I've talked to has been supportive of the renaming," said Ernst Valery, Founder and President of SAA | EVI. "They see the name change and the formation of the Maggie L. Walker Tenant Association as a new beginning and a positive step forward in transforming the community."

Essex Village has been the focus of numerous NBC12 investigations over living conditions and building code violations. The new ownership was announced last month.

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