Sunday, April 4, 2010

Concerned Neighbors Press 2520 23rd Ave. N. On Two Fronts...

Contributed photo, blog post by John Hoff

The property at 2520 23rd Ave. N. has been on the radar of neighbors for a while, but now with warmer weather coming on, the intuition of these neighbors (which is seldom wrong about this kind of thing) says this property is going to get out of hand. Now is the time to (in the words of Barney Fife) "nip it in the bud."

Currently, there is a two-pronged bud-nipping approach. And this blog is one of the prongs: drag the problem out in public where neighbors, listservs, other bloggers, committees, city officials and police can all scrutinize the issue via the "virtual community center" role of this blog...which is becoming more of a collective effort every day. (Seen all the new authors? Exciting!)

The other front--or you might call it the "carrot" which goes along with a "stick"--is for some concerned, super kind neighborhood folks to approach the hell-raisers at this house and...

...find out what their sensitive, tender thug needs are.

I think everybody should do what they do well, and not take on jobs they KNOW they can't do well.

So, you know, good luck to the folks who are doing the job I'm not very good at.

The house at 2520 23rd Ave. N. was placed firmly on the "pressing issues front burner" a few days ago. It happened in the way so many things happen these days in North Minneapolis: virtually. Word went out over the Upper Willard Homewood (UWHO) listserv, as follows:

Hi neighbors,

I am wondering if anyone else has noticed the myriad issues going on at this property. I am at my wits end over this place and spring has just barely begun... which gives me a very bad feeling about what is yet to come.

2520 is a duplex with two families currently living in it. The first floor tenant, Margaret, and her children are fine people, and I feel sorry for them that they have to endure a shared building with the upstairs folks (whose names I don't know - just that of their eldest kid, Cortes.)

The upstairs people are incredibly messy, routinely letting their trash (often with nastiness such as dirty diapers) fill not only their THREE garbage bins, but indeed the recycling bins and often half of the street, not to mention my adjacent driveway and their own front yard. (I have called solid waste on this on several occasions.) And, of course, they never pull their bins back up to the house - they just sit in the street seven days a week.

These tenants have also done significant damage to the house, including breaking the front door off. (I have called 311 on this on more than one occasion. It has been like this for MONTHS. And I just have to say, when my own home went without a front [porch] door for a few weeks as I searched for a replacement, I got a swift letter from inspections. )

The interior door to the upstairs apartment hangs open day and night, even during the off times when someone is not standing in it, screaming at whoever might be outside.

The eldest kid (Cortes) does not appear to go to school. At all. I work from home a lot and he is ALWAYS in the street. Typically yelling and littering and such. He appears to be about 12-13 or so.

I don't see Cortes's mother very much, save for the times when an ambulance comes to get her in the middle of the night (this has occurred probably 4 times in the last handful of months since they moved in) and when she takes her random walks down to stand in the alley next to my house and wait (presumably) for a drug delivery at odd hours during the dark of night.

The house has had ongoing maintenance issues, the most frustrating of which was last summer when the fence was falling apart. I called 311 (and others did as well) several times until the owner apparently gave up and just removed all the pickets and rails. So now the front yard just has random posts all around it.

The first floor tenant Margaret tells me that she has been threatened repeatedly by her upstairs neighbors. I saw her two days ago and she said she was going downtown to try and file some kind of charges. She is 9 months pregnant and seriously stressing out.

This property is owned by "Triumphant Properties," one of the owners of whom is a woman by the name of Mandy Meyers, who, incidentally, I just read an article about from a 2007 investor newsletter. It indicated that she strongly supports North Minneapolis, and that her cousin (?) started the Bean Scene coffee shops. (I have no idea who this cousin is.)

At any rate, I have sent cards to her (both polite and slightly-less- polite) at the address of record on the city website, and have never received a response.

Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions on what else might be done about this? I am seriously at the end of my rope. I cannot live like this. I feel angry every day. I want them OFF OF MY BLOCK.

Oh, and now that the weather is warm, these guys like to have bar-b-ques out on the front lawn. The paper plates, solo cups and booze bottles litter the street after every such event, and the cars with insanely loud music come and go throughout.

But, I will say this - at least they go sit in the car to hit the pipe, so it's ALMOST like the children don't know their parents/friends/ family are getting high....
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(End of first UWHO email about 2520 23rd AVe. N.)

As is often the case with blogs and listservs, in a short while somebody contributed to the discussion with more helpful information, as follows:
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We had big problems here with rentals a year or so ago. First, contact the person with the rental license and the taxpayer to give them your perspective. Sometimes they are really great to work with, like Steve, who's on our list serve. Others get angry and don't see it as a problem. We have been fortunate, but with lots of work, to get a block club with 1/2 rentals and we couldn't love it more here. It wasn't the case a year or so ago. We had alleged drug dealing, shootings, loud parties, trash piled in allies and not much understanding from land lords but with lots of team work and persistence we have a block utopia here. Our landlord/renter/ owner coalition did it. Thanks to Tim Hammett for his work.

1st, call/contact these folks first and see what their response will be. Sometimes, we have found, they have little experience in what they are doing so try to help educate them with city ordinances they may not be aware of. We have found others that just have no idea what is going on and are gratefull to know. They don't know 911 calls at all. Nobody calls owners if crimes are commited at their property (it surprised us too). Some may be run by management companies that really don't care about your problem and the owners blame the property management companies. This is the hardest scenario we have found here to work with. Some owners will check out their management company but not all will. Sometimes you never hear from the management company. It can be very very frustrating dealing with this, believe me, I know. But now we reap the rewards of our daily frustration and work.

2nd, call 311 about paint chipping, broken windows, broken up sidewalks, steps, broken fences, long grass, etc. Make a list, call 311 about every item. The rest of us get orders to repair out little things too. Make sure you write down the reference number they give you. Don Samuels has aked we call him with the reference number if things are not done in 4 weeks or so (or at least started). He was a big help for us as well.

3rd, enlist your block club leader and get a phone chaine. We did and it get faster police responses when many called. Call about loud noise and say it is a party. They have certain key words they react to as we have learned. This makes a difference.

4th, if you feel stuck at any, I repeat ANY point, call me and I will follow through with you until this is resolved one way or another. It is difficult but worth the hard work. Do it before good folks that don't get involved, but are great neighbors, move. I waited too long and saw good folks leave and worse folks moved in. I will take ownership of this problem with you until it is resolved.

Here is the person with the rental license:

RLIC RENTAL LICENSING Dmitry B Mogilyansky 3141 Dean Court, #303, Minneapolis, MN 55416 612-229-9009 Aug 18, 2009 $84

Here is the owner information:

Taxpayer

Triumphant Properties Llc
2940 Sumter Ave S St Louis Park Mn 55426

Owner

Triumphant Properties Llc

Last Sale

9/17/2002

Here is the compaint history which looks to go back to 2004:

2008
RS NUM Levy # Levy Year Project Project Description Status Total
Department: HSNG - Contact Customer Service Agents at 3-1-1 or 612-673-3000 for assistance.
08-0626788 1080 2008 021 Remove Rubbish Remove Bags Of Yard Waste, Trash And All Misc. Debris From Rear Yard Next To Privacy Fence. (Entered 6-19-08) Assessed $150.33

2006
RS NUM Levy # Levy Year Project Project Description Status Total
Department: HSNG - Contact Customer Service Agents at 3-1-1 or 612-673-3000 for assistance.
06-0504245 1081 2006 011 Cut Grass/Weeds Cut Grass/Weeds Cancelled $10.00

2005
RS NUM Levy # Levy Year Project Project Description Status Total
Department: OTHER - Contact Customer Service Agents at 3-1-1 or 612-673-3000 for assistance.
05-0385060 1080 2005 021
Remove Rubbish Furniture, Wood, Plastic, Metal, Cardboard And All Other Debris In Backyard

Assessed $185.00

2004
RS NUM Levy # Levy Year Project Project Description Status Total
Department: HSNG - Contact Customer Service Agents at 3-1-1 or 612-673-3000 for assistance.
03-0305104 1080 2004 021 Remove Rubbish Carpet, Mattress And All Misc. Debris From Rear Side Yard Cancelled $10.00
04-0321041 1080 2004 021 Remove Rubbish Scrapwood, Glass, Junk Appliances, Branches, Mattress And All Misc Debris From Rear Yard Assessed $809.94

2001
RS NUM Levy # Levy Year Project Project Description Status Total
Department: HSNG - Contact Customer Service Agents at 3-1-1 or 612-673-3000 for assistance.
01-0131838 1081 2001 011 Cut Grass/Weeds Cut Grass/Weeds Cancelled $85.00

(End of UWHO email reply)
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In closing, I'd like to say this: you really have to wonder how and why these folks have gotten along without a front door for so long. Why is the door gone in the first place? Did somebody kick it down? Or was it used to, well, carry off the wounded? You just gotta wonder.

17 comments:

Got it all figured out... said...

Carrots? You've got to be kidding me. Let the churches make carrot cake.

Has anyone called the landlord and said "Hey... Listen up! Your full of shit if you think this is going to continue as it is. Your tenants are making my life hell, and me and my friends are about to make your life hell, and I have lots of friends, and they have lots of energy."*

Publish the landlord's phone numbers and all of his/her contact information that you can find. Notify everyone when something is happening (text messages, tweets, blog posts, FB updates, phone calls,etc.). Then, everyone who wants to help should call the landlord and repeat the phrase I typed above*, or something equally as simple and determined. If we do this for a couple of weeks or a month, those folks will be out of there. I guarantee it.

In my experience, the landlord will actually start to work with you because they will respect you and will HAVE to work with you.

Seize Ownership of your space.
Claim It and Hold It.
Have your friends over and park yourself on your front lawn and make it known that you are watching.

Pretty soon you'll be more of a pain in the ass to them than they are to you.

The landlord is the problem, not the tenants. But, it's not our job to play social worker. We are busy enough being a productive members of society.

It works. I promise.
I have it all figured out.

Anonymous said...

Rental License Contact:
Dmitry B Mogilyansky
3141 Dean Court, #303, Minneapolis, MN 55416
612-229-9009

James T said...

How do you join the listserv?

Anonymous said...

Dimitry's business partner:
Brad Peterson- 612-759-1482.

This guy also needs to be driven to his wits end every time there is some b/s going on with this property.

Johnny Northside said...

James T., I don't know the answer to that. Maybe somebody who knows will say something.

And--this is directed to nobody in particular--I hope there is some degree of selectivity with the UWHO listserv, rather than letting no-account thugs get access.

But word is there's a lot of "carrot cake making" going on in Upper Willard Homewood. Who knows how long it will be before somebody is leading folks in the "sinner's prayer" via listserv? I agree with the comment "let the churches make carrot cake."

For the record, I'm on a strict diet right now and no carrot cake is allowed. Seriously.

Johnny Northside said...

Oh, now I remember what I came here to say:

A little birdie texted me some info, as follows:
-----

FYI, Brad Peterson is suing Dmitry Mogilyansky, his estranged partner in Gemini Group Equity Group, the outfit that allegedly repossessed 2520 23rd Ave. N. from Mandy Meyers of Triumphant Properties.

---------
I do not have this info independently verified. Anybody who has more to add--PDF documents to email me, etc--I'm open to hearing more.

Got it all figured out... said...

Yes JNS: Brad & Dimitry are not on good terms after the dissolution of their partnership or LLC, or whatever it was. I'm not sure whether there is an actual suit filed against one or the other of them, but word is they are not in the landlording business (or at least don't want to be).

Their buisiness was to loan money and make money. They ended up with this property b/c one of their loans went bad. Now they have a pain in the ass to deal with. Evicting these tenants will make Brad and Dima's lives easier. They should work together to do it ASAP.

Anonymous said...

visit upperwho.org - there are links to join the listserv and you can also use the form on the "contact us" page to contact the guy who kind of heads up the listserv.

Johnny Northside said...

I'll be happy to publish anything that turns up about "Brad and Demitry." That's what they get for letting things literally go to pot at 2520 23rd Ave. N.

Lance said...

These people need to go. I'm going to watch their house like a hawk and call 911/311 on everything I see them and Margaret do that even comes close to breaking any law or ordinance.

Marz said...

Openly speaking out against a problem house is a tricky thing. The problem people may be provoked into doing something illogical/crazy to anyone, and they sure as hell don't think about possible consequences of their actions. You might say they'd have to be stupid to attack you when so many people would know it was them. Well that's just it, young thugs are dumb-as-rocks, damn the consequences people (ESPECIALLY under the influence of crack/alcohol). I applaud the the efforts of good citizens, just be careful.

James Nelson said...

Props to JNS for his comment: "So, you know, good luck to the folks who are doing the job I'm not very good at." We all have our area of expertise. I can't do what JNS does and I thank God he does it even if we think about as opposite as two can think, he's a real assett to us here in NoMi to have a place like this to dialogue. We in UWHO do have a community garden and our main crop is carrots. However, don't be mistaken we do get assertive (pain in the ass is more like what some will call us but mostly me). We have had mostly good luck with carrots and that's how we roll here and are proud of it. I think I'm the quickest to get out the garden tiller, but others on our team fill in where I can't (as JNS states so well). We are a team here that work very very hard on inclusion and going the 2nd and 3rd mile with folks but make no mistake we do have boundaries we draw very clearly as well when the nicer ways don't work. Our block used to have lots of 2520 like properties but we now have a coalition of renters/landlords and owners working together. 50% of our block club is rentals with the best renters available. The landlords/management companies will work with you well to but they are sometimes difficult but we have some landlords on our list that are role models and have great insight for us on our list. Also, as far as who is on the list, UWHO (whick started as a section of WHO) has residents of our geographic area, a couple media folks like JNS and a few prominent WHO folks that add to our conversation greatly. Feel free to go to our site www.UpperWHO.org and leave a comment, question or concern for our group. Keep up the great team work!! God bless you all, James

la_vie_en_rose said...

Lance, Margaret is said to be the GOOD tenant, so I highly doubt you'll see her doing anything worthy that requires a call.

In all honesty, are you a troll or do you just lack comprehension skills?

Lance said...

Rose,

Sorry about that. I guess I was so worked up about the ne'er do wells that I misread the post. Please accept my apologies.

Not that I will ignore Margaret's 311 worthy behavior, but she's not on my radar.

Thanks again for correcting my oversight. Have a good day!

la_vie_en_rose said...

I'm all for calling on someone who deserves it, but yeah, we shouldn't say guilty by association (or in this case, guilty by living proximity), lol.

robert metzler said...

Hello Johnny Northside, this blog is so old I hope it finds you. I'm currently mired in a legal battle with Dmitry and Brad. They have clouded my title so no lender will finance me and they are attempting to foreclose on me. I thought it was a simple clerical error that they would fix so I could pay them off but it seems they would. Rather have my house than my money. I need info on them

Johnny Northside! said...

Look, everything I know about them...everything...is pretty much in this article. But if you would email me the court documents or put me on the trail (give me the docket number of the lawsuit) maybe I can write something and somebody else will comment and contribute information.