Monday, December 14, 2009
Does this House Look Like it's Worth $2.5 Million?
Guest post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman
During a routine investigation of housing issues in Hawthorne, I came across this gem. It turns out that 2420 Bryant Ave N is owned by Pamiko Properties, in foreclosure, and the amount bid at the sheriff sale was over $2.5 MILLION.
Well, to be precise, we're talking about $2,548,206.06. And the speculated reason for this exorbitantly high amount is that...
The $2.5 million is likely a line of credit used to purchase multiple properties. If that is the case, let's assume that this line was used to buy 25 properties at an average of $100,000 per house. Now if I were that lender (in this case, Minnwest Bank Metro) I'd set up that line of credit so that each house purchased would have a lien against it. That way, if the borrower defaulted, I'd have all of those properties as collateral for my $2.5 million. I'm guessing that's how it's set up, but I don't have the details just yet.
So what other properties are included in this $2.5 million? The Hennepin County website should have those details, but does not at the time of this post.
But wait, there's more! A JNS reader posted a similar question about a property in Willard-Hay, 1417 Logan Ave N. This one is also in the post-sheriff sale state of foreclosure. The mortgagor, once again, is Minnwest Bank. The amount bid at the sheriff sale on this one is a cool $1,900,779.76. And the same reader who clued us in about this mentioned another million-dollar foreclosure but did not give an address. There's definitely something going on here...
And in case anyone wonders what $1.9 million gets you in Willard-Hay:
I looked in the replaced window (which nobody even BOTHERED to clean out the broken glass from the frame or sweep up the pile of shards from the floor, and saw what looked to be a hastily-vacated unit. There were also piles of dog or cat feces throughout the living area. I would have taken a picture of that, but really, wouldn't you just want to take my word for it?
The waters get murkier still. Mention the name "Pamiko Properties" or Paul Koenig to any Hawthornite who knows their history and you're sure to get a nasty look and a comment like, "Oh, you mean the guy with the DREAM HOMES?!" I haven't had a chance to get the full story of what went on, but it's clear that something strange and contentious happened. JNS readers are encouraged to give me and other readers a history lesson through the comment threads on this blog.
Some folks have reported positive dealings with Koenig and Pamiko, however. When there were problem tenants at 2211 4th St N, residents said that Paul Koenig was VERY receptive and quite proactive in terms of dealing with these occupants. But suddenly, those communications stopped earlier in the summer. Why would that be? Well, the Hennepin County tax website lists Minnwest Bank as the owner, so it would appear that Pamiko lost or will soon lose this property to foreclosure as well.
More recently, it was reported that workers were removing items from 621 26th Ave N, another property owned by Pamiko. When asked what was going on, they replied that the city had bought the place (public records do not indicate a change in ownership and my search of the MLS does not show it listed for sale in any way, although this property IS at least one or more years behind on property taxes). The workers went on to say that they were allowed to take out personal property, and were seen removing a bathtub. Fixtures are generally NOT considered personal property, and based on this behavior, anyone who sees workers removing items from this place (and by extension, any other property owned by Pamiko) should play it safe and call 911. If they have the proper paperwork, let the cops sort it out. By the way, if Pamiko needs bathtubs, I know where they can get some.
(I'm not encouraging this to turn the screws on Pamiko or any of their contractors. I want to keep houses from being stripped of what makes them livable and desirable, and if there is openly criminal behavior happening then it's best that residents call the police instead of confronting it directly and putting themselves at risk.)
So where did all the money go? And what other properties are owned by Pamiko that are in foreclosure? It's also worth pointing out that many of the properties listed above have open rental licenses, meaning that they could be rented out to unsuspecting renters - maybe even using emergency assistance. Something tells me this is just the tip of the iceberg for Pamiko Properties.