Saturday, February 6, 2010

Commentary On Keith Reitman's "Ugly Ass Chocolate Brown Building"

Photo and blog post by John Hoff, ugly ass chocolate brown color creation by Keith Reitman

A defender of low-end landlord Keith Reitman sent me an email defending Reitman and, in a spirit of fairness, I am publishing it as follows, with some minor JNS commentary interjected...

Yes, I live in that "horrible brown (although it's more or less maroon) building" that your son is poised out in front of during July 2009. Keith said he was looking for tenants, and indeed, he found my family. I realize you were expecting junkies, drug dealers, or other such filth, but all you get is a family from Indiana who moved here in search of better healthcare for their severely disabled son.

This place may not be a palace (I've only lived in one other old building with just a bath during my lifetime, but hell, people used to get by in this country without showers in their bathrooms), but it's home to us. Sure, I'd love to own a house (who doesn't dream of that?), but who's going to give us a chance? All low income individuals get lumped into one great big melting pot along with the riffraff that causes problems. People tend to forget that some of us are just trying make a better life for ourselves and our kids, and we rely on the people you call "slumlords" to give us some sort of shelter so we're not living on the streets.

(JNS says: I've put in years of my life working for two entities I would characterize as somewhat benevolent slumlords, and I've joked I not only have slumlord blood in my veins, but actual slumlord organs in my body. But all that just makes it easier to call 'em when I see 'em, and I prefer to be on the side of the non-slummy angels than the devil who rents space on the low, low end)

I understand that Keith may be involved in some scandal (from what I've been reading on your site, anyway),

(JNS says: There's no "may be" about it. Keith Reiman was the seller of 1564 Hillside Ave. N., a dubious sale where mortgage fraud was a FACT, not a mere allegation. Larry Maxwell sits in prison over the sale of that house, which was bought off Keith Reitman. The "HUD" on that sale of Keith's building showed a $5,000 payment for "windows" when no window work was, in fact, done. These are not mere rumors, but matters of public record, but I would tend to believe Keith was the "least bad" of the bad actors involved, contrary to his usual pattern of "not the best, not the worst." But The Truth will come out and how I hope the power of The Truth manifests in the form of cold steel bracelets for the bad actors involved)

...and I can offer no comments on that as it was before I moved here, but I can honestly say that Keith has been kind to my family and has even gone out of his way to help us (such as when we were robbed at our door).

(JNS says: yes, outside buildings that look like CRAP robbers tend to get really comfortable, as opposed to buildings with lovely and well-lighted exteriors)

Just thought you'd be interested in what one of Keith's tenants has to say.

(Thanks for that, I was interested and I think readers are interested. But I dispute the building is "maroon" and assert it is a unique Reitman-created color known as "ugly ass chocolate," but the current color may be the result of long-term weathering and perhaps it was more maroon at one time. Keith should make the exterior look better but he's apparently happy to just have a building with whatever crappy paint slapped on it, and SHARPIE MARKER instead of real numbers for an address. However, I sincerely hope your heartfelt, expressive email to me results in a few precious bucks knocked off your rent.)


Johnny Northside said...

Addendum: The $5,000 payment on the HUD does not state "windows" as the reason for the dubious payment. The "windows" information is contained in a separate invoice.

There are also two OTHER dubious, inexplicable payments in the HUD statement for 1564 Hillside Ave. N, including $24,100 to Gill Construction and $56,291.78 to "Peter Lang for the benefit of James Lang."

It is impossible to believe that a savvy individual such as Keith Reitman signed off on $85,391.78 worth of dubious payments coming off the sale of 1564 Hillside Ave. N., and didn't have more information, didn't ASK QUESTIONS.

la_vie_en_rose said...

I must say that I'm rather surprised that you devoted a whole post to my email. I sincerely doubt that my "heartfelt email" will "knock a few bucks off my rent" as you put it, but it needed to be said. Not everyone moving into his properties are scum (in fact, he made a point of mentioning to me before we rented that he was burned by his previous tenants, so he wanted good people). I'm quite sure you and the rest of Northside are used to dealing with "the low, low end" on a regular basis, so I understand why you'd make such a generalization, but I have to admit that such a sweeping remark offended me just a bit.

In any case, I've been reading up on your blog and some others devoted to this neighborhood since I'm now a resident, and it's nice to see that some people still care about their surroundings and their neighbors. My family rented a house in a similar neighborhood in Cincinnati prior to moving here, and let's just say that "mind your business" was the law of the land. Also, if the local youth wanted to walk through your property, you didn't get involved unless you had a deathwish.