Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

As I was leaving town on Friday, I noticed a ladder up against the side of the house at 2515 3rd St N. I made a mental note to call 311 about it, but that slipped my mind until today. Clearly Mohammed Amro of Amro's Properties Inc., or as we call him on JNS, "Mr. Slummy," is back to work.

Back to work? How could THAT be? Last year, at a Heart of the City picnic, NoMi residents noted five bathtubs visible inside the property. After we called that in to 311 and CM Hofstede, we were told that a stop work order had been issued until Amro presents plans that are in compliance with the R2-B (two-unit residential) zoning requirements for the property.

But yet, when I called 311 TODAY...

...I was told that no such orders existed. According to this 311 operator, either the stop work order had never been issued, or the property owner met the criteria for being able to start work again.

If Amro does indeed have permission to do this work, then where are the plans? The first picture above shows roof work being done. The second shows ladders both on the exterior and in the interior of the property. The second-to-last shot shows a window that's been installed, and finally, he's cut open one of the bottom windows and once again left his property open to trespass.

A message was left with CM Hofstede's office today. Hawthorne neighbors expect to see either YET ANOTHER stop work order issued against Amro, or the plans that he presumably presented and the city presumably approved showing that this house will be a 2-unit structure.


Mind Yer Business said...

Looks like they are taking a crappy house and making it fit what modern buyers would want? Many people now days expect to have multiple bathrooms including a master bath. If each unit has a master plus guest that would eat up 4 tubs there. What are you jealous?

Margaret said...

5 toilets I get, that's comfortable for a modern 2 unit place. 5 bathtubs? That means he is going for 5 full bathrooms which will make his tax assessment higher. Most modern houses have lots of bathrooms but not all of them are full baths. They are 1/2 (toilet and sink) or 3/4 (toilet, sink and shower).

Having designed and built our own place, some of what this guy is doing looks like it could be OK but other stuff is really odd. It shouts that he's an inexperienced builder/developer.

Roland said...

I don't get why you would be mad that someone is fixing up a house? I mean certainly it is going to look better than an empty shell or a vacant lot?

Perhaps your over enthusiastic revitalizing efforts are not having the desired effect. I suspect you nosy do gooders keep more good, decent people out of NoMi.

Dyna, Parade Junkie! said...

fI've toured this tenement and Mr. Slummy clearly had no intent to make this a huge single family home or even duplex. Judging by the layout, Mr. Slummy intends to carve at least four units out of this building, maximizing his profits from the Section 8 program at we taxpayer's expense.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

The only people who have ever made comments such as those of "Mind Yer Business" have been anonymous posters. Anyone who has lived in close proximity to this monstrosity or seen in person Mr. Slummy's work knows how much he has flouted proper protocol for building in Minneapolis.

Having two or three full bathrooms as a luxury for a single unit of rental housing may be the norm in posh suburbs, but not here.

clevelanddude said...

It seems funny that "do-gooder" should be an insult. Are we supposed to hand over our neighborhoods to the "do-badders." I felt safer when the block club captain watched me move into my house 16 years ago, and made sure to introduce herself the first week I was there. I knew it was a block where people watched out for each other and knew if something wrong was happening.

Anonymous said...

So luxury has no place in NOMI? Maybe if you encouraged such things the right people would move in and your neighborhood would change.

I live here said...

To Mind Yer Business, and others, I say:

Mind your own neighborhood.
Live it, or Shut the Fuck Up.

Your voices are immaterial noise, static, we will tune out.

Patrick said...

I don't think Jeff meant to say that luxery has no place in NoMi. You're twisting his words. My partner and I have a very luxurious NoMi home.

JNS Reader said...

These anonymous and clearly-invented-on-the-spot-name commenters are obviously trolls - a handful of people just out to criticize whatever you write, hoping to rile you up. This is obvious due to the vapid, almost comical reasoning they employ in their arguments. Number one rule in dealing with trolls: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. They WILL get tired and go away eventually, as it becomes more and more clear that your hard work is actually improving the neighborhood, and you're winning the war. What is their motivation? I have no idea, but don't encourage them by acknowledging them.

Anonymous said...

BTW, no work going on at the site today, tools and ladders left behind.

Patrick said...

Excellent! Looks like Jeff scared the off again.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone that makes a counter point said to be a troll?

You do realize that when you say the property is slummy when they acquire permits for the work, you are, in fact, stating that the City inspections department is incompetent.

Jeff and others, do you think the City inspectors are incompetent or not?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Anon 4:09,

Troll or not, I won't have you put words in my mouth. In the case of Mr. Slummy, the inspectors to date have been very competent, issuing stop work orders at least twice and enforcing code violations on a regular basis.

You can infer what you want or attempt to twist my words if you will, but when I want to call someone or some entity incompetent, I'll do that. I'm not a passive-aggressive person.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely believe that what Senor Slummy is doing is better than an empty shell. Am I too a troll?

Pond-dragon said...

To the 4:09 Anon:
A legal decision handed down today provides the perfect background to answer your question: "From this vantage point it was posed as a TROLL question: I will provide you the decency of a real answer despite the rules about not feeding TROLLS.

The Landlord in question has a horrific track record and reputation regarding housing in NoMi. Perhaps you are a born again christian and think one dip in the river will wash all those sins away? There is a very old saying: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me:
This Blog has provided a long,long,long accurate listing of problems associated with this landlord, he earned the title that he got Slumlord, (wear it proudly) if he wants to get rid of it, it is a long journey from slumlord hell to NoMi Warrior.

In relation to the legal decision, the particular person in question has so abused the legal system they are not allowed to use it anymore without special permission. The city is trying to do the same thing for Notorious landlords.

PS: The next time you write about a slumlord making 4 3 bathroom units out of a single family home, you could at least use the sarcasm font. Its a dead giveaway for a TROLL

Anonymous for a reason said...

The reason people post anonymously is because they don't want to be John's next headline. Everyone knows John will usually attack those that disagree with him. You even wrote this in comments about a year ago; that people don't want to speak at meetings because they are afraid of ending up in the Johnny Northside blog. I can provide a link if you have forgotten your own comments.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Anon 9:15,

I remember those comments. Go ahead and post the link in case the comment at that time was made without proper context. However, the statement about people not wanting to say something that appears on this or any other blog was not due to, as you say, John attacking anyone who disagrees with him.

The comment was made by someone who wanted to share information with the group at hand but said information was not yet appropriate to be shared with the whole wide world web.

And no, I don't think everyone who disagrees with positions taken by this blog's authors is a troll. However, I do believe that the people who make statements in support of Mr. Slummy haven't seen this property up close and certainly don't live in proximity to it.

The other issue I have is that the total amount of expected finished square footage of this property (remember, there's also the six or eight egress windows, making it likely the basement will qualify) far exceeds that of a reasonable 2-unit structure.

Keep in mind that the city may be playing it legally safe in terms of approving plans for this site if they meet enough code and zoning criteria. But mark my words, there is no way in hell this guy is building a 1-2 unit structure here. If they have to let him build it, then they absolutely must draw the line in terms of what kind of occupancy is required.

I still think, though, that there should be ample evidence to issue continuous stop work orders. We'll see how this plays out though.

Sean said...

I have had it with people fixing up houses in NoMi. It's good just the way it is. Damn slumlords and their renovations!

Are these union workers? Only union workers should be allowed to work in NoMi.

Patrick said...

I agree, it should be mentioned on all permits issued that work must be done by Union workers. This is generally the case as homeowners are not allowed to perform their own work as it is. All permitted work must be done by licensed professionals.