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.