Monday, July 20, 2009

Mister Slummy Continues His Work At 2515 3rd St. N.

Photo Contributed By Jeff Skrenes, "The Hawthorne Hawkman"

Directly in front of the horrified eyes of residents, "Mr. Slummy" continues his progress (and I use the term loosely) at 2515 3rd St. N.

A resident of the Hawthorne Neighborhood recently sent this photo. We watch, we wait, we suspect and anticipate that he'll be wanting a rental license. And when that happens, well, residents will be screaming from the rooftops. In the meantime, we can only watch and document and (perhaps most important) get the word out: so-called "investors" and wannabe slumlords do not have free reign in the Hawthorne Neighborhood.

We are watching, we are taking pictures, and the blogosphere is our friend.

(Do not click "Read More")


JNS Reader said...

Why is this guy pouring all this money into this place on the assumption that he'll get a rental license? Is it guaranteed? Does he know something you don't?

The Mortgage Geek said...

The property is zoned R2B. So as long as it's a duplex and he follows rules about how many unrelated people can be in the same property, the city would be hard-pressed to deny a rental license.

And remember, word is that he claims this is where he is going to have his PRIMARY RESIDENCE. (insert raspberry sound of lips sputtering together)

All I can say is he certainly isn't treating the place as if it's where he wants to live. And it's going to be large enough to easily house twice as many people as you'd normally have in a duplex.

Anonymous said...

If the city is letting him put up this structure I do not see a problem with him getting a rental license. If he's got the money to fix this place up I would think it will be a great improvement to the neighborhood. Isn't that what you are about is revitalization in the neighborhood. You should be thankful that he is actually doing something positive instead of sitting around and putting someone down for at least trying to help the neighborhood.

The Mortgage Geek said...

@ 9:18 p.m. Anonymous:

Here is the problem with what "Mr. Slummy," as JNS calls him, is doing:

First, he dug an 8-foot deep hole covering his entire back yard, and did so without a permit. At the time, he had only a permit to demolish (which he used to tear off the back of the house).

He did not secure the pit, despite having two families with children on either side of the properties he owns. The dirt also spilled over into one neighbor's yard, ruining their garden and damaging the chain-link fence.

He left two dumpsters full of debris in the parking lot of the empty apartment building across the alley. The city had to come along and take these dumpsters away and assess him for that.

The second floor of the front porch has been visibly sagging and the back of the house has been left open to the elements for the past four months. Until recently, the back of the house was sitting on the edge of that crater with nothing supporting it.

At every step of the process, Mr. Slummy has shown himself to be a grade-A slumlord at worst and a bad neighbor at best. He is clearly NOT trying to help the neighborhood, and he is NOT doing ANYTHING positive. The idea that this will be a "great improvement to the neighborhood" is laughable.

And hey, I'm okay with someone coming in to my neighborhood with the intention of just helping themselves. But follow the rules, respect your neighbors, and do work of an acceptable quality, at least. This man has done none of these things.

Anonymous said...

Where is the city if all you say is true. If this guy is such a problem why would the city sit by and not do anything. If the neighbors are concerned then they should call the city and the city should take care of any issues this guy is causing. It is a pretty easy process. Isn't this what you do (JN) is call when you see something that is not right?

The Mortgage Geek said...

It was the Minneapolis issues list and THIS blog that first brought the hole to China to my attention as Hawthorne's Housing Director. After my initial confrontation with the owner (and the pictures I took, which are documented on this blog, and which I sent to CM Hofstede), the city took IMMEDIATE action that DAY.

Did you notice that I said the city removed his illegally placed dumpsters and fined him for that? They have also been sending inspectors by the place, sometimes multiple times per day.

Even Hofstede, however, has had to admit that the city's hands are tied when it comes to some of what he claims he is and will be doing. For instance, his plans (on paper) state he is going to conform to the R2B zoning, so they are bound to grant him certain permits.

I, however, am not prohibited from calling bull---- on those plans, and neither are the immediate neighbors.

I've said it before: If we're wrong, I will take this guy out to lunch, buy him a nice steak, and explain some neighborhood history so he understands why we were so skeptical.

Since you're choosing to remain anonymous, I can't speculate on whether you know that history in Hawthorne or not. But I'd be happy to articulate it on this blog or elsewhere.