Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Problems Arising on 300 Block of 25th Ave N

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

Several weeks ago, I called 311 when I noticed three very awkwardly-parked vehicles in the lot at 314 25th Ave N. It looked to me like the cars were ditched there, possibly after being stolen for a joyride. Click on the pictures above, and the license plates are visible for each of the 4 cars in the photos, in case any of them have been reported as stolen. And clearly they were not parked on any kind of approved surface. I wasn't sure how long the issue would go before being resolved, since cars parked inappropriately on a property owned by an investment firm might not seem like a big deal.

(However, upon closer investigation of THAT matter, "Global Investment Mngrs Inc" is located at...wait for it...314 25th Ave N! The vacant lot with three cars parked there. There was no indication that a global investment management company was being operated out of any of the three vehicles shown above.)

Really, we ought to require the owner of a VACANT LOT to list some other address when they buy a property. Just sayin'.

But even these facts only came to light because a concerned resident sent me an email about...

an "emerging problem property in the area," at 322 25th Ave N. It was recently bought by a Robert Serr, and this resident listed 3240 Sheridan Ave N as an address associated with Mr. Serr. Reportedly, 322 25th Ave N has become worse in terms of its condition, the condition of the surrounding area, and the behavior of tenants since Mr. Serr's acquisition. It is unknown if the cars parked at 314 25th are associated with Mr. Serr or his tenants.

But 3240 Sheridan Ave N rang a bell, so I checked a database I have of properties owned by slumlords and properties that were part of mortgage fraud. (yes, I have my own database for this sort of thing. I am the Hawkman.) 3240 Sheridan Ave N is a former TJ Waconia property and its owner is listed on the city website as "Car Wash Llc." Car Wash Llc also owns at least one other TJ Waconia house at 3742 Aldrich Ave N. I drove by each place, but the houses were pretty nondescript.

Robert Serr was also apparently the owner of a Miami Vice/Scarface-themed restaurant on Lake Street. Perhaps the business failed because Serr wasn't familiar enough with Scarface mythos to create a representative environment. Somehow I doubt the fellows I saw on the block would have the same problem.

Getting out of the car, taking photos, and leaving took less than two minutes, start to finish. In that time, a white Chrysler 300C and a blue Cadillac of a similar style pulled up across the street from each other and in front of 322 25th Ave N. A man in a mid-length white fur coat got out of the Chrysler and entered the back seat of the Cadillac. Moments later, he got out of the Cadillac, returned to his vehicle, and they both drove away. Tony Montana would be proud.

Once again, it's not clear YET whether this very apparent drug deal had anything to do with the specific property or person listed above. But it's clear the block is a problem. The Hawthorne resident who emailed me also indicated that gunshots have been heard in the area, a group of young males is hanging out on 4th and 25th (again), and arguing and other loud noises have been reported by residents.

We need to get a handle on this NOW. Usually things quiet down in February, so I shudder to think of what this place will be like in the summertime if nothing is done soon. I made several trips to the block today, and I urge others to do the same thing. Call 311 and 911 as needed. Let's cut this kind of behavior off as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

M. Clinton said...

Good stuff to know. That is so close to where I'm at. I'll make it a point to start driving through there more often and paying attention to what I see going on. Thanks for highlighting potential trouble spots early on!