Real estate agent apologizes for controversial advertisement

Real estate ad called insensitive
Real estate agent apologizes for controversial ad

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - In Fall Creek Place neighborhood, some new houses go for well over $600,000.

It wasn't always so.

It was once called Dodge City - even by police - for its gang crimes that hurt innocent residents the most.

"Our ad was really intended to celebrate the progress the area has made," said real estate agent Kurt Flock.

That newspaper advertisement, written by Flock, has gotten negative reaction. Some called it “disrespectful” to previous residents.

This advertisement for Flock Realty has drawn controversy.

"We repeated the same picture we ran a year ago, the vacant lots, showed houses being built on it and all is good in the kingdom,” said Flock. “The wording in the ad could have been chosen better."

Full text of the ad:

"It was once an unseemly place filled with unholy habitats and vice lords. Thusly people banded with bureaucrats and rebranding Oracles who ordained Dodge City be henceforth and forever known as Fall Creek Place. With blessing of the banks, brokers and bureaucrats ZMC Urban Homes began building new homes for the blessed who believed urban living could be holy, hip, righteous and upscale. People flocked Downtown, and ZMC build mightily, and a new order of peace and prosperity spread across from Goose the Market, where kingdoms start at $636,000. Only four left. Yikes."

“It was racist to me. I mean it was clear," said activist Wildstyle Paschall.

The ad had phrases like "building new homes for the blest who believed urban living could be holy, hip, righteous and upscale" and calling the community "a once unseemly place filled with unholy habitats and vice lords."

"The white savior complex that they have, that they've come into this downtrodden neighborhood that was just full of these drug dealers and unsavory people. And now they've gotten rid of them and now everyone that's good can come in and move into this neighborhood,” said Satchuel Cole.

She points to an ad last month about renting. "They didn't warn me about thin walls, late night banging, insomnia and the smell of cumin and curry and oregano in the halls. Come on, we all know what you're saying."

An ethnic slur, she says.

Kurt Flock

And the Fall Creek ad, Paschall said, "was all the code words of just being racist. Very disrespectful to the previous people that lived here that have been displaced by gentrification," Paschall said.

Social media lit up with negative reaction to the ad.

The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana warned Flock their ads must follow fair housing laws.

"Describe the property, not the people or the people that may be there or were once there or that may come there, said Fair Housing’s Amy Nelson.

"All we can do is apologize and say it was certainly not our intention," Flock said.

He showed us his other ads, including some supporting gay marriage and a tribute after the Pulse nightclub shootings.

"We should be a welcoming place for all people," Flock said.

And to anyone offended, "to those people, we just sincerely apologize," said Flock.