Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pamiko House Set for Demolition

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

I dedicated the day today to a Hawthorne Hawkman patrol, where I went through (mostly) Hawthorne, took pictures of properties, called 311, and removed plenty of sign spam. In my travels, I came across a demolition/raze order posted at 621 26th Ave N.

I already knew this property was a Pamiko house and that Paul Koenig (pronounced Kay-neg) was largely responsible for driving this house into the ground. The property has been vacant for three years and is bordered by 623 26th Ave N, where slumlord Bashir Moghul was reportedly shot, and 619 26th Ave N, one of the worst-managed rental properties in Hawthorne.

But what I found REALLY interesting was...

...the list of names on the Director's Order. It's my understanding that everyone with a financial interest in the property is a recipient of such an order. We have:

Pamiko Properties (ok, that's only a surprise to the extent that Pamiko still has ownership in ANY property)
Angela Larson, Keller Williams Integrity Realty (I want to know what HER involvement is)
Aspen Funding LLC
KB Mechanical Inc
Wallboard Inc
Creative Home Construction Inc
Floor Technologies Inc
Lien Guaranty Inc

If I had to guess, I'd say that everyone from KB through Lien Guaranty is an entity that did work on the property and never got paid. Then I speculate further: were these companies just innocent victims, or have they done other work on slummy properties in my neighborhood? After all, this house has all the trappings of a slumlord in terms of horrid windows, a converted porch, and virtually no curb appeal.

JNS readers are encouraged to share what they know about these companies.


Ranty said...

Well, looks like soon we will be 0 for two on the MinnPost video. The first home we toured is already gone. 621 26th was the second one.

Snitcholio said...

So when you see cars parked illegally do you steal those too? How about a neighbor's dog that isn't licensed, would you sneak in the yard and steal the dog? Work done without a permit would you tear down the materials?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...


Having been inside this house, is there anything really worth saving? I hate to see all these demolitions but I've been looking at these three houses and trying to figure out alternatives too. They're huge structures with virtually no yard. Granted the park is across the street, but easy answers here.


Nope, I've limited this behavior to just taking down sign spam.

M. Clinton said...

This house is a really good example of how porch conversions degrade properties. Although there are many aesthetic faux pas with this house, it was at one time a VERY grand, charming, Victorian home. And I've heard that the interior is quite intact. However, one would not know any of that because a really fugly porch conversion makes any house look like a blighted mess.

Ranty said...

"They're huge structures with virtually no yard."

Kinda like the Healy Block.

Should we tear THAT down? I mean really... it used to be riddled with drugs and hookers and [gasp] nastily-enclosed porches and shitty additions...

OH WAIT. We can't. Because it's now on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES.


Johnny Northside! said...

The day will come when affluent people won't be able to AFFORD a home around Farview Park. This house doesn't look so bad from the outside. I don't know if this one should be torn down. I'm all for the City acquiring it and selling it for a dollar to some good person or whatever, but...

I don't see where this one needs to be torn down. But I've also never been inside of it, so I'm a bit on the fence about it.

Anonymous said...

Tear it down. It looks absolutely horrible. Who would want to live there?

Ranty said...

@anon 6:42

Life must be pretty boring when all you see is what is front of your eyes, and nothing of what COULD be.

So what do you do for entertainment? Read the ingredients list on your cereal box?

Anonymous said...

Do you have any information on how I can add bedrooms to my rental. I currently have Section 8 tenants but believe I can get higher rent if I can make more bedrooms in the basement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...


If it was in San Francisco or Manhattan a property like that might be worth rehabbing. But this is North Minneapolis. Even if you put a mansion there it is not going to be a desirable piece of property.

Anonymous said...


I know you're going to need egress windows down there. Hopefully you can find someone to do it on the cheap.

Perhaps the Hawthorne neighborhood association has information on contractors who can help you convert basement rooms to lawful section bedrooms.

Shanti said...


I agree with you. Hawkman and 642 must be pretty dim witted if they don't see the revitalization prospects of this property.

Anonymous said...

Several weeks ago there were comments about trying to determine if Mpls. rehab estimates were realistic or too high. This might be a perfect test case. The obvious issue is that the larger the house, the larger the cost for rehab.

As for the size of the house being a problem, in discussions concerning the housing stock in NoMi, sometimes I hear that NoMi is at a disadvantage in the market because the houses here are smaller than the new homes built in the 'burbs. And yet, one of the reasons in support of tearing down this house is that it is too large (at least for the lot it is on).

Regardless of what happens to this particular house, there is an interesting question here. NoMi faces the issue of infill housing. What is an appropriate size house for a lot, or a neighborhood or whatever vs. an appropriate size house from the standpoint of the market?

On one had, Mpls housing code permits a fairly large structure to be placed on a lot even if it sacrafices a yard. On the other hand, NoMi lots are tiny, so even a small house on one of these lots will have a small yard.

I realize this is off topic, but I figure if Anon can post about Section 8, I would ask this question.


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Several responses:

Anon 11:57 - packing in more and more rental bedroom space is exactly what contributed to this property "look[ing] like crap" and is a significant problem with the housing stock in Hawthorne and NoMi. Even if I knew how to convert more space to bedrooms I certainly wouldn't share such knowledge in a public forum.

Although perhaps you were being facetious, in which case, keep up the sarcasm.

Anon 7:12, I should clarify my statement. I was not endorsing the demolition of this structure so much as pointing out what many people in the neighborhood will use as an argument against renovation. Personally, I want to see this house preserved and restored.

Anonymous said...

Here is a company that will put the egress windows in for $1500.00

You can then get a house to 6 bedrooms and get about $1800.00 from section 8.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a horrible pile of junk. I know that several of the nearby residents want this place down.

Sarah Snowhill said...

I'm curious, why the discrimination against residents with large families?

"Anon 11:57 - packing in more and more rental bedroom space is exactly what contributed to this property "look[ing] like crap" and is a significant problem with the housing stock in Hawthorne and NoMi. Even if I knew how to convert more space to bedrooms I certainly wouldn't share such knowledge in a public forum.

The poor with large families must have affordable housing. The city of Minneapolis has a moral obligation to provide affordable housing to all families not just those with 2.2 kids. Homes that have the bedrooms we need are much more expensive than we can afford. When we can find affordable rental housing we are very lucky if it has the proper number of bedrooms for our large family.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...


There's one other factor that is being neglected. I'm going to use completely hypothetical numbers to demonstrate.

Let's just say that the purchase and rehab of this property would cost $150,000, and if another non-profit or governmental agency bought it, holding costs until resale would be $20,000. Rehab in this case would also address the enclosed front porch and some aesthetic issues.

Upon resale, the house then goes for something like $100,000. But if the house were in another neighborhood, perhaps the resale would be at cost or only slightly below the $170,000. So perhaps in this other neighborhood a government or non-profit entity would come along and buy to rehab, but in Hawthorne or NoMi, the house gets demolished.

Then, to me, the question becomes, is that criteria acceptable to Hawthorne and NoMi as a basis for demolition?

The other question becomes, is infill housing better or worse than restoration of existing housing? I think recent posts and comments I've done make it clear where I stand or lean on those questions, but I want to open the floor for dialogue.

Anon 9:48,

I did a Google search on that company's name, email, and phone number and came up with very little - craigslist postings and permits pulled at 823 23rd Ave SE. Their links to photobucket where one might see pictures of their work are dead links.

Anon 10:07,

I'm sure there are people on the block who wouldn't mind one bit if the structure is torn down. And this is precisely the dilemma I face as a staff person of the neighborhood. (By the way, I don't live too far away from this house myself.) I believe that the neighborhood will benefit more long-term from the restoration of houses like this. Residents who've lived next to structures like this and have only experienced them as vacant and/or problem properties understandably want SOMETHING to happen.

I want to listen respectfully to the views of those most directly affected here, but won't hide my opinions. If there comes a time when the official neighborhood position is expressed, I will have to work to implement that regardless of my personal feelings.

Sarah Snowhill,

I have no discrimination against residents with large families. My issue is that too many houses in Hawthorne and NoMi were not BUILT to house such large families. They were converted, often VERY POORLY SO, in order to maximize rent payments. This means converting porches, basements, dining rooms, attics, or virtually any other space into bedrooms.

Once this happens, the property often only appeals to slumlords. The slumlords then rent to tenants who don't contribute to the property's or neighborhood's well-being. The house gets run into the ground until it is faced with the very problem we have at 621 26th Ave N: a possible gem that looks bad, has a bad history attached to it, and attracts very few people who want to save it.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the additional food for thought.

I have previously seen Ranty's video on this property, and while a person can tell that it was a grand residence once, it requires a lot of love. I drive by those three houses almost every day, and every time I do, I just feel sorry for them.


Ranty said...

@Anon 7:02 -

If no property in North Minneapolis is desirable then I had better see a shrink about all these imaginary buyers who are running me ragged this month, snapping up NoMi homes to owner-occupy.

Kevin said...

Sarah Snowhill said: "The city of Minneapolis has a moral obligation to provide affordable housing...."

I must ask you, are you holding the suburbs to this same moral obligation? If not - why?

Anonymous said...

@Sarah Snowhill:

Why don't parents have any moral obligation to consider whether or not they have the financial means to raise a large family before bringing lots and lots of children into the world? Why is it 100% the duty of taxpayers to subsidize your irresponsible hobby of overpopulating the planet? Not everyone is as deeply committed to destroying the environment as you are.

Sarah Snowhill said...

First of all, we didn't have the environment when I was young and had my first babies. Don't give me any of that kids ain't green crap. 2nd of all my kids are gods kids and he wills what he wills and I do my best to provide support but need help from time to time. I do expect the suburbs to help but it just so happens that Minneapolis has the neighborhoods that have large homes with enough bedrooms at rents I can afford. All i'm asking is that the city not stand in the way of a landlord making one of these large homes with enough bedrooms for my entire family.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sarah but kids aren't green. They emit deadly carbon everywhere they go. I hate to think what the carbon footprint of a kid is.

We need to put some sort of limits on the number of children that people can have. Two at most, I say.

Anonymous said...

@ Sarah Snowhill said "Minneapolis has the neighborhoods that have large homes with enough bedrooms at rents I can afford"

So move into one of those plentiful large houses instead of insisting that houses meant for people with responsibly-sized families be utterly and completely destroyed to meet your trashy standards.

Carey Joe Howell said...

Sarah, Why should NoMi be obliged to provide most of the afforable housing for large families? It needs to be spread around.... We already provide plenty of rental, plenty of affordable, the rest of the city has an obligation too, if you follow that logic. Give us a freakin break!

Anonymous said...

You need a license to own a dog in MPLS maybe we could stop population pollution by forcing people to license their kids. If you can't afford to feed or shelter your kids you probably should have used a condom.

Anonymous said...


The reason North Minneapolis does not have "desirable" property isn't because no one will live there. After all, it is full of sex offenders and criminals.

The reason people say it is not desirable is because a person can spend 250K building a house there and only be able to get 150K for it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the city should buffer each new home built with a 100k equity cushoin. Say a home is built in NOMI for $250k. Leter if the home is sold or needed to be refinanced it likley will appraise low. The city could commit 100K to the bank that if a foreclosure occurs they will insure the difference between the real value of the home and the value of the note up to $100k.

M. Clinton said...

I happen to be one of the "near by residents" and I look at this house all of the time and think that if the porches were corrected, it would not only completely change the house, but add considerable charm to aesthetic of Farview Park.

Just imagine open double decker porches with turned posts and hanging baskets. It is all about knowing what to do with the property. Neither a vacant lot or infill construction have the revitalization potential of what is there right now. i seriously sit on my porch looking at this row of houses and think they have more potential to positively impact the aesthetics of the neighborhood than most other properties around.

Don't believe that there are not folks out there who would want to take on a blighted, condemned property in order to be on Farview Park. I am doing just that right now!

M. Clinton said...

And I don't buy for one minute either that any of this Section 8 discussion is legit. It is obviously posed to stir the pot. Give it up. NoMi is revitalizing.

Anonymous said...

I think 20K would be more reasonable.

Anonymous said...


What do you have against Section Eight people? There are a lot of people who would be homeless without the program and I am glad there are people working to accommodate large families who need the room.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...back up. Talking badly about Section 8 (granted, there are renters who give the program a bad name) and then saying "NoMi is revitalizing" sounds like the same crap I heard when I lived in the sub-community of Cincinnati known as North College Hill. The mayor kept sending out fliers talking about how ALL rented residential places needed to be removed to make the place a "safer" community. Yeah, because all renters are jackasses who don't care about where they live, and there are no homeowners who act like that, am I right?

Stereotypes never used to really bother me, but this one...I'm getting a little fed up hearing the same old excuse just so someone can justify "gentrifying" the neighborhood. I guess low income families and individuals are supposed to live in little shanty towns where those with money don't have to see them. Sheesh.

This kind of talk right here is why you're seeing a lot of dissenting comments on this blog. It's OK to revitalize and kick out the real scum, but if that's not really all you're trying to accomplish, then of course people are going to complain.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty obvious that the regulars here and who live in the Ecovillage are classist and trying to push out anyone that does not fit their preservation and revitalization goals. This includes anyone on Section 8 or who rents for that matter. They should probably remove any walking obstacles for those living in the Ecovillage or they may trip with their noses so high up in the air.

Anonymous said...

So all landlords and real estate agents who advertise that they don't accept section 8 are breaking the law. If you have issues with any Landlords or Real Estate agents/brokers/screamers regarding refusal to honor section 8, you can file a complaint by calling 311.

Anonymous said...

@ Sara Snowhill

I'm not much of a "green" pusher myself, but you can't argue with the mass amounts of trash that kids leave behind.

As for the children that god "willed" upon you and you are unable to provide for without help, why not help yourself out and consider responsible use of birth control? Rather than using god as your scapegoat, take responsibility for your actions. I'm pretty sure god has nothing to do with the reasons why your family has outgrown your means.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1121am

The Section 8 program is VOLUNTARY for landlords to participate or not participate.

Look it up in the HUD regs. Promise.

Patrick said...


I'm sorry but we really don't need more/any section 8 people in the ecovillage. Owner occupiers are much more responsible with their property than renters who can simply move on.

NoMi will be revitalized, whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Section 8 discrimination isn't just done by landlord's. I think based on some of the comments here this blog should be reported to 311 for it's anti-Section 8 bias.

M. Clinton said...

Did I say anything bad about Section 8? No, I did not. I think I said that I did not buy that the Section 8 discussion on this thread is legit.

The first post that veered off topic into the Section 8 discussion was obviously baiting to stir the pot. All people deserve quality, affordable housing. The initial post about Section 8 was not about the program or the people that it serves. It was about how to convert a basement into bedrooms in order to max the amount of Section 8 a LANDLORD can get. It was an attempt to bait the discussion off topic by smugly putting out there that slumlord behavior is alive and well. It had nothing to do with the Section 8 program or the people it serves.

And I don't live in the Eco Village either.

Someone who cares said...

Maybe if you stoped calling 311 for every silly little thing, the inspectors would be able to get to the backlog of apartment inspections and people wouldn't die in fires.

Kevin said...

To the obvious trolls trying to stir the pot:


It's getting old. Go away.

James Nelson said...

la_vie_en_rose: Just want to say that in our 'block club', we have 45 homes and 1/2 of them are rentals. A few years ago it was real bad here with rental, BUT, we formed a renter/owner/landlord coalition to work with ALL involved. Now we have a utopia goin' on over on our block. The renters are about the nicest, most respectful folks I have EVER had the pleasure of meetin'. Some have told me they just don't want all the hassles that come along with ownership; they can call the landlord and say 'fix it'. Done. However, we hold very high standards to landlords, renters and owners here with great care and respect. It's not easy but it works. I wouldn't trade my rental neighbors for anything! I thank God for them. Just wanted to let ya know some folks DO appreciate a diverse while respectful block.
God bless, James Nelson

Your Eyedea said...

anony: 10:44 am

You are by far one of the classic cases of being judgmental over the internet I have even seen. I will let you know that I am not "classist" nor am I trying to push ANYONE out of North Minneapolis. I grew up here and got pushed out by crime in the 90's. I moved back here cause I love and respect North Minneapolis.

I am a PROUD resident of NoMi. No matter what some TROLL says on the internet. :)

Ranty said...

North Minneapolis IS desirable. And, I have proof in the form of purchase agreements. Enough said there.

As for rentals and section 8 and the like, this is such a tired old conversation.

We all know that the issue is neither the existence of rental, nor that of section 8. It is the CONCENTRATION OF SUCH in certain areas and that correlation to blight and crime.

Renters, whether they are poor or wealthy or in-between, deserve to live in a safe place just like homeowners. Which is why we need to have balanced, mixed communities.

Yawn. This has only been said like 10,000 times now....

Ranty said...

@anon 11:21 LOLZ, you forgot to add the there.

Anonymous said...


There are lots of people who should be pushing out of north MPLS, namely the thugs.

M. Clinton said...

I thought I had put up a comment before about this, but maybe I didn't realize it didn't send.

Did I say anything "bad" about Section 8? No. I said that I did not believe the Section 8 dialogue was legit. By that I was pointing to the fact that the original post about Section 8 had nothing to do with this topic. It was intended to bait and stir the pot. It was not supportive of the Section 8 program or the people it serves. It was from a landlord's perspective trying to maximize profit off of Section 8.

I don't believe for one minute that original post was sincere. I believe it was a smug attempt to assert that the mentality of slumlord behavior is alive and well on the Northside.

I realize that many responses however were genuine, but I am only pointing out that I don't believe the original post being responded to was legit. It was baiting and unsuspecting commenters took the bait.

That said, acknowledging it, even in attempt to detract from it, only added more attention to the bait and diverted away from the original topic. Note to self: Next time do not even acknowledge the bait.

And BTW - I don't live in the Eco Village (not that there is anything wrong with that).

la_vie_en_rose said...

Patrick, you're either a troll or pompous ass...I haven't been able to figure out which yet, so I'm done with you.

James, I appreciate what you said and what you're trying to do in this community. It's people like you that I admire, and hopefully, we'll meet sometime soon. I wish there were more people like you.

M. Clinton, you gave the "get over it, we're revitalizing" spiel, which I said there is nothing wrong with that, but the tone around here from a couple of people seems to be that old familiar tune to me -- "unless you're rich enough to afford a home, get out". Yes, I take offense to that because I live here, and I'm not in a position (and probably never will be, sadly) where I can buy a home.

I apologize if you (and to anyone else here) truly didn't mean that, but as I said, I'm so used to people preaching "revitalization" and then also saying, "I have nothing against people with low income, but I don't want to live next to them." We're not all bad people is what I've been trying to say here for months now, but no one seems to care so I don't know why I bother.

Anonymous said...

Adding to the off-topic section 8 discussion: NoMi has a lot of section 8 properties that are not managed properly by the landlords. And this blog has discussed a lot of them.

Truth be told, landlords such as Paul Koenig and Bashir Mogul decided to make a business out of utilizing government program-eligible tenants. Those landlords have historically been unconcerned when notified about livability issues and unlawful behavior on their properties. So, it's the landlords who needed to go from NoMi. (I mean, the tenants should behave themselves, but the buck stops with the landlords.) If the landlords go, so go the tenants. If renters don't like the reduction in rental property in NoMi, they should look no further than the landlords.

And, I am tired of the "being pushed out of NoMi" language. On my blocks in Webber Camden about 4-6 years ago there were numerous cars with Illinois and Wisconsin license plates parked on the street. For whatever reason, people from other states were coming to my neighborhood to rent and cause problems on my block. If those folks could travel from other states to NoMi to rent, then they can also travel from NoMi to other states.

The idea that there is a stable and finite amount of poor/working poor in Minneapolis simply isn't true. It fluctuates based on a lot of things, including economic cycles, program eligibility requirements, the availability of public assistance dollars and the number of units of program eligible housing available. And migration based on some/all of those factors.

AND in the mid-90's, when I was renting, I remember the local media providing monthly statistics regarding the number of available rentals in Minneapolis (such as "Rentals are at a 95% occupancy rate this month"). This was supposed to mean that there were not enough rental units in Minneapolis, as presumably the only rental units left were unaffordable to most people. I have not heard much buzz of an actual shortage in rental property, either section 8 or otherwise. Why is that?


M. Clinton said...

@ la vie en rose Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I understand where you are coming from. And I did not explain myself well with my initial "Give it up" post. To be honest, I have been so tired of the trolling and baiting and was kinda crabby at the time. I could have articulated myself better.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Don't feel badly about it. I can understand getting sick of trolls. I used to hang out at a website that's filled with tons of people who try to troll others, so it doesn't really bother me anymore, and it's easier for me to pick out who's doing the trolling here.

(I try to give people the benefit of the doubt though because you never know who could turn out to be real. That, and I hate people referring to me as a troll.)