Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Hawthorne Hawkman" Buys 2601 Penn Ave. N., Pretty Little "Anchor House" In One Of The Toughest Stretches Of North Minneapolis Real Estate...

Photo from the Irving Inquisition, blog post by John Hoff

Jeff Skrenes, who took on the nickname "Hawthorne Hawkman" from a comment made by this blogger, who got his blogging start on this very blog, but then spun off and started the successful and influential "North By Northside" blog, is now a home owner...

Jeff had been publicly promising for MONTHS he would soon be a home owner and even hinted the geographic area was close to slumlord Keith Reitman's sad, decrepit "blue twins." Today, on the "North Talk" Facebook page Jeff created (yet another creative thing he did for Nomi) Jeff announced his ownership, as of yesterday, and the exact address of 2601 Penn Ave. N.

The house was featured on a blog posting of the Irving Inquisition, a blog that has been "dead in the water" for some time but put out such useful material during its heyday that I find myself linking to it several times each month. Skrenes stated it was this very blog posting which made him want to buy the house.

The house is right in the middle of "thug central," an area featuring street walkers on Penn Ave. N., the constant presence of thugs at a large "inconvenience store," and uncomfortable proximity to notorious pervert Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer. It is also smack dab in the middle of ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts which will ultimately win the day. The most recent listed owner is Greater Metro Housing Corp. It's current assessed value is $30,000 though in 2005, arguably near the height of the real estate bubble, its value was $136,000.

In August of 1986, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs sold the house to "F.A. Ruggles" for a little more than $50,000. Ruggles sold the house only a year later to Nwachukwu C C Stroman.

Then, as so often happens with the city's woefully inadequate online records of sales information, the next sales data to show up happened in March of 2005, when owner M & W Enterprises In C (sic) sold the house for $132,000 to Marc F. Bergen, who is apparently a local Keller Williams Real Estate Agent.

Jeff Skrenes was deeply involved in the 18-month "EcoVillage Miracle," a dramatic crime turnaround in the Hawthorne Neighborhood, click here for article. This second article, click here, explains much better what I think was REALLY behind the "miracle." 

On behalf of the Johnny Northside blog, congratulations to Jeff Skrenes and, at that same time, THANK YOU for taking on home ownership in this challenging area. I have no doubt things will get better due directly to your presence. I will have to get you a housewarming gift of, well, a bunch of little army MRE Tabasco sauces bottles I have been saving.

8 comments:

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Thanks, John. A little more house history here: It was built in 1917 as part of the Penn Lawn addition to Minneapolis. And more recently, we're fortunate it went into foreclosure when it did. My neighbor told me how the last owner to have the home lived in was (surprise!) a problem landlord. When I went into the basement for the first time, there was halfway-completed shoddy work that was clearly intended to cram more bedrooms into this small and humble abode.

If that owner had been able to hold on for a few months longer, we'd probably be looking at yet another inappropriately sized rental property causing havoc on a key intersection.

So I took one look at the crummy lumber partitions and told my contractor to take that crap down.

chouette harfang said...

Wooooot! The chouette harfang looks forward to Hawkman's move to her side of Jordan. Take a stroll down Sheridan some time, we may be out gardening.

Johnny Northside! said...

To Hawkman, I hope you got pictures of all this and you'll be writing about it.

Anonymous said...

My hat's off to HH--a man with real cajones. Before you know it, he'll have flowers planted out front, which induces some sort of allergic reaction in thugs that makes them search for more decrepit environs.

Anne McC said...

I'll always think of it as the barbeque house. My partner and I were heading into the Fourth Precinct at the end shift. The shift was located next to Midas at the time. Anyway, smoke was pouring out of the windows. We called it in and ran into the house to get any people out only to find some clown tending a charcoal barbeque in the dining room. We canceled the Fire Dept and made him take it outside. Times really haven't changed that much, have they.

Johnny Northside! said...

Oh, I think things are changing. I sense a great shift in The Force.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

I already have flower pots on the front porch, as a way of telling people waiting for the bus that someone lives here now. Most people have actually been really excited to see this house fixed up, even if it means someone is now saying, "Please don't sit on my steps anymore."

Anonymous said...

Take it from one who knows: Never underestimate flower-power in controlling unwanted pests.