Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nothing Says "Slumlord" Like Six Basement Egress Windows...

Photos By Jeff Skrenes

This blog previously reported the story of "Mr. Slummy" and his epic hole-to-China, an event which alarmed and galvanized our neighborhood. Well, there's been a new turn of events at 2515 3rd St. North...

Hawthorne Housing Director Jeff Skrenes notes--with alarm and horror--how Mr. Slummy is now adding egress windows to his basement. Each of these windows apparently represents slumlord sugar-plum-fairy dreams of an income-generating bedroom.

There are AT LEAST six egress windows, Jeff says, but he's not positive there aren't EIGHT. Who's counting? In any case, it's TOO MANY. And, for now, we are unable to stop Mr. Slummy because he operates under the dubious claim that what he's actually building here--multiple egress windows and all--is NOT intended to be rental housing but his primary residence.

Here is Jeff's rallying message to the neighborhood, unedited:

These are the recent pictures of the basement at 2515 3rd St N. What do you notice? This is no ordinary basement. He has egress windows EVERYWHERE.

Most places, you'd think, you'd want one or two such windows in the basement. But something tells me he's not just putting those in for overall safety. There will be numerous BEDROOMS down there. Bedrooms on the second floor. Bedrooms on the third. Bedrooms in the original part of the house, and bedrooms in the addition. He's not building his primary residence, as
he so nobly claims. He's building a MOTEL.

The city claims he's got the proper permits and doesn't need zoning variances to do what he's doing. Okay. Well we still have permit processes for rental licenses and occupancy. We need to come down HARD on this SLUMLORD the RED HOT SECOND he tries to put ANYONE ELSE in this place.

We KNOW it's going to happen, so let's be prepared.

JNS says: that's why we call him the Hawthorne Hawkman. He protects the people of the Hawthorne Neighborhood, and we don't take kindly to slumlords 'round these parts.


Anonymous said...

Hey, he's gotta put those two pallets of toilets to use somewhere...

Margaret said...

Are those actually wide enough to be egress windows? They just look like below grade windows (that require the retaining wall anyway). Also, two are on a corner which is fine, design-wise but wouldn't really seem to buy you much in the way of extra bedrooms. I am not an expert or anything and glad to see that you guys are on the case.

The Mortgage Geek said...


You may be better at eyeballing this stuff than I am. However, virtually everything this owner has done smacks of slumlordism. (Is that even a word?) Even if I'm slightly off on my calculations about these windows specifically, the entire project's scope leads to no other conclusion than a large property with numerous bedrooms to rent.

If I'm wrong, I'll take this guy to lunch and explain the historic problems we've had with landlords and properties that LOOK like what he is doing now. I'll buy him a steak, and for me, I will eat crow.

But I doubt very much that will happen.

veg*nation said...

those look exactly like the egress windows that an aspiring slumlord started to build on the house next door to mine. this man bought the house with the intention of turning it into a "boarding house" for international students (these are his words), but ran out of money before the renovations were complete, so the house went into foreclosure. the partially completed egress windows had apparently been sitting open for more than a year before i moved in, and so the basement had become a boarding house for stray cats. the house did eventually sell to someone who rehabbed it, and they glass bricked in the partially completed egress windows, so now they just have a very well-lit basement!

it's funny, though, how similar these windows in the photo look to the ones next door--like there's an "egress windows for dummies" manual out there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

It's new construction. I can't imagine why someone wouldn't put egress windows in a new house. Much better for resale in the long run.

Not that I'm saying he isn't a slumlord too.

Taylor Parker said...

My husband and I were thinking about having basement egress windows put into our new home that is currently being built. We thought at the time that it would be beneficial to the structure of our home, and we still think that it will be, but we never actually did any research about basement egress windows . What are the actual benefits of having basement egress windows ? Are they good for a long term basis? What is the best way to maintain basement egress windows ?

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